Council member reminds colleagues of past actions

Published 6:21 pm Friday, March 4, 2016

Some outside agencies and other organizations are seeking more money from the city for the upcoming fiscal year than they received for the current fiscal year.

Obtaining that increased funding could prove difficult, if not impossible, for some or all of the agencies and organizations.

“Everyone be mindful that in the past years we’ve talked about reducing our (funding for) outside agencies by 10 percent. As we go back two years, we need to think about reduction of 10 percent,” Washington City Council member William Pitt said. His remarks came as the council discussed budget-related matters during its Feb. 22 meeting.

“The numbers that we bring forth will reflect the 10-percent reduction,” City Manager Bobby Roberson replied.

Prior to Pitt’s statement, Councilman Richard Brooks asked that the council be provided the funding amounts for the outside agencies and organizations in this fiscal year and the previous fiscal year. In recent years, the council has been more mindful about providing taxpayer money to outside agencies and organizations.

Thirteen organizations, including outside agencies and economic-development entities, have submitted requests for city funds totaling $218,150 during the upcoming fiscal year. In its current fiscal-year budget, the city allocated $159,075 for those agencies. For the most part, the city has reduced funding for the agencies each year in the past several years. The council took no action on the requests; its funding decision concerning the agencies will come later during budget work sessions.

Agencies seeking more funding in the upcoming budget include the Beaufort County Boys & Girls Club, Zion Shelter, Wright Flight and the Blind Center. The Purpose of God Outreach Center, Cornerstone Community Learning Center and Beaufort-Hyde-Martin Regional Library seek the same funding they received for this fiscal year. The library’s funding is part of a reciprocal agreement involving the city-owned Brown Library.

Eagle’s Wings, a Washington-based food pantry, wants a credit on its utilities bills instead of a direct contribution from the city. Eagle’s Wings pays about $9,000 a year to the city for utilities.

As for the economic-development organizations, the Washington Harbor District Alliance, North Carolina Estuarium and Arts of the Pamlico each requested more money that allocated to them this fiscal year. Arts of the Pamlico received $14,400 this fiscal year. It requested $50,000 for the upcoming fiscal year. The Estuarium, which received $18,000 this fiscal year, seeks $25,000 for the next fiscal year. The Washington Harbor District Alliance, allocated $55,800 this fiscal year, requested $58,000 for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, which begins July 1.


About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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