Loss of Funding?

@moffittjc (41198)
Gainesville, Florida
March 17, 2016 9:57pm CST
I run a summer athletic program for at-risk youth in my city. Last summer, our participation numbers tripled (we don't cap participation), and as a result, I went over budget about $30,000. So this year, in preparation for similar participation numbers, I had to go before our city commission to request additional funds. My request was for $35,000 more than I already have in my budget. After giving my presentation before the commission tonight, one city commission--who traditionally has been one of the biggest supporters of the program--began questioning the necessity of additional funding. You could see the look of shock on other commissioners's faces (and probably mine too) to see one of the program's biggest supporters going off on a tirade about funding the program. What should have been a slam dunk approval of funding now looked like it was in danger of being scrapped altogether. And I had to stand up there in front of the dais for more than 20 minutes listening to city commissioners argue back and forth. And then out of the blue, the commissioner who had started the whole ruckus by questioning the funding, suddenly made a motion to approve the funding. Just like that, the motion passed unanimously and the issue was settled. Fortunately for me, I got the funding I needed. But I'm still scratching my head at the behavior of the commissioner who is my biggest supporter. I felt like the 20 minutes I stood up there listening to commissioners bicker back and forth took a year or two off my life. It blows my mind how people lose all ability to use rational thought or common sense when they become an elected official. And to think that someday soon I may be crazy enough to consider getting into local politics!
7 people like this
8 responses
• United States
18 Mar 16
Perhaps he was covering his you-know-what. He wanted to appear frugal, but did, in the end (ha ha) give you what you wanted, and needed. Just take a tums before going there next time.
2 people like this
@moffittjc (41198)
• Gainesville, Florida
19 Mar 16
I'm used to it. I almost always know how a vote is going to go before I even get in there. Most commissioners will tell you ahead of time how they intend to vote. It's rare that they get up in front of the chambers and decide to change their vote. One time, I was walking up the stairwell with all the commissioners heading to a meeting, and they told me that a controversial project I was proposing was going to get approved, but they were going to rake me over the coals to make it look like they were doing their due diligence on behalf of the citizens. They said no matter what, stand confident at the podium, no matter what they said or did, and in the end I would get my approvals. Thank God they gave me the heads-up, because they tore me apart in there. I never felt so humiliated and small and insignificant in my life, but in the end they all voted to support my project just like they said they would!
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Mar 16
@moffittjc It's nice they told you in advance, and sad that they have to play this game.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (41198)
• Gainesville, Florida
19 Mar 16
@ElizabethWallace I agree. At least here in my city the staff will generally know in advance what the vote will end up being, I'm sure it's not that way in every community. That's one of the reasons I hate politics so much, because there has to be so much grandstanding in the meetings. I would like to run for local office someday, but I don't know if I could operate the way they operate.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (147829)
• Switzerland
18 Mar 16
This is weird, I cannot understand why he discussed for 20 minutes to finally approve the funds. Very strange.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (41198)
• Gainesville, Florida
19 Mar 16
That's how a lot of our politicians operate. They like to grandstand for the audience to make themselves look more important than they really are. It's more of a "hey, look at me thump my chest" more than anything. We call it "blowing hot air!"
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (147829)
• Switzerland
19 Mar 16
@moffittjc So true, they are in some sort actors who love to speak in front of an audience, no matter if they have something interesting to say.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (41198)
• Gainesville, Florida
19 Mar 16
@LadyDuck Definitely have a lot of egos involved. It's like they have to feed their egos, to say, "Look at me, I'm important!"
1 person likes this
@Platespinner (16532)
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
18 Mar 16
I can see how that would have been stressful. What baffling behaviour!
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (41198)
• Gainesville, Florida
19 Mar 16
I'm used to it, so it normally doesn't bother me. This one just caught me by surprise, that's all. It's all good!
1 person likes this
@just4him (110170)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
18 Mar 16
Maybe there was something more going on than what you heard, but he was looking for something, and found it when he approved the funding. Glad you got it.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (41198)
• Gainesville, Florida
19 Mar 16
Whatever it was, it all worked out in the end!
1 person likes this
@karjatwala (1135)
• Pune, India
19 Mar 16
Well, the commissioner who questioned you wanted to make sure that firstly you really need the extra funds and that they be used for the purpose you are asking for. Once he was satisfied, he approved of the funding and all agreed to him.
1 person likes this
• Pensacola, Florida
18 Mar 16
Well that's good you got the funding you needed.
@moffittjc (41198)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Mar 16
It always comes at a price, though. I now have to track and report additional data and statistics that I didn't have to do previously. They want more analytical crime data. Now I'm going to have to work with the state attorney's office and the police department to be able to get the data I need. More work I don't have time for.
• Pensacola, Florida
18 Mar 16
@moffittjc Oh lots of fun for you then. Just kidding. At least its worth it in the end though right?
@moffittjc (41198)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Mar 16
@lexiconlover Well, I got the money I needed, so yes, it was worth it in the end. Now if they would just give me about $2.2 million more dollars so I can renovate my next swimming pool!
@sharon6345 (118584)
• United States
18 Mar 16
Then at leasy you know what not to do when you decide.
@moffittjc (41198)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Mar 16
I just hope I don't lose all my common sense and rational thought ability if I ever decide to become an elected official!
@sharon6345 (118584)
• United States
18 Mar 16
@moffittjc I could not ever see that happening with you.. Give it a try you just never know.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (41198)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Mar 16
@sharon6345 I still have six years until I can retire from my city job. It would be after I retire that I would consider running for office.
@JudyEv (118966)
• Bunbury, Australia
18 Mar 16
I wonder why this happened. Do you think he was late having dinner and it wasn't agreeing with him? Seriously, I can just imagine how worried you must have been.
@moffittjc (41198)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Mar 16
He must have been having a bad day or something. Sometimes this particular commissioner engages in some peculiar behavior, but other times he's perfectly normal. The city commission meetings start at 1:00pm, and often don't end until after midnight. My particular agenda item came before them at 10:00pm, so it was toward the end of their meeting. Who knows what kind of crazy city business they had to discuss on the agenda prior to my item. Sometimes, when they get into controversial or heated topics, it affects their moods for the remainder of the night. I always try to get on the agenda early in the meeting so that they are still in relatively good moods. Nobody ever likes being on the agenda late into the evening!