Grand Terrace pays $6,000 to fund community events, lets volunteers do rest
GRAND TERRACE - The loss of city funding won't mean the loss of city-funded community events such as Halloween Harvest and Community Days.
The city has agreed to pay the Foundation of Grand Terrace the last $6,000 out of a trust - funded mostly by donations and sponsorships - to put on the events and gather its own sponsorships for future years, after approving a budget in June that ended what had been a $52,880 annual expense.
"As a resident of this city, I want to make sure the events that have gone in the past continue," said Sally McGuire, chairwoman of the foundation's events committee on Wednesday. "As we get the monies, we'll be able to make decisions on what events we can and cannot have."
The first definite yes is Halloween Harvest, previously known as Halloween Haunt. It's scheduled for Oct. 31 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Richard Rollins park.
McGuire expects to spend $2,000 or less on a Halloween celebration, which according to City Manager Betsy Adams is about half the usual total cost.
But she said the celebration will be much the same as usual, but with less candy - donated by the Grand Terrace Woman's Club - than in earlier years and without carnival-style game booths.
The city's other big annual event is Community Days, held in June.
Beyond that, McGuire said, she wants to hear from community members to see how much money the foundation can raise and which events people think are most important.
All expenditures will be tracked, because it's public money being used.
Councilwoman Darcy McNaboe abstained from the vote because she is the unpaid president of the Foundation of Grand Terrace.
The city had to make the agreement with an official group such as the foundation, City Attorney John Harper said.
Gramp's Notes: For many years now the blog has promoted the idea that the Citizens and Service Groups of GT should be planning and accounting for and hosting the "Events" and not the City Staff. The Funds were ill accounted for by Schwab and Berry, and the events were corrupted into being Political or Power Building Events. Staff Hours were shifted from what their job descriptions were to the Events Planning and Hosting Duties. Having Redevelopment Funds or Fees for Code Enforcement Inspection on Rentals used to plan Events is miss use of funds and a breach of the public trust. It is time that this miss use of funds and "Informal" accounting is not normal operational procedures for our city.
The Foundation of Grand Terrace is a logical service agency to hand these activities to. The Foundation of Grand Terrace is a legal entity, and carries insurance or can be sure that the down line activity sponsor has event insurance if needed. They can also keep accounts clear and not be using City Employees improperly. This will also increase the co-ordination of volunteers within Grand Terrace. Smart solution all ways around.
Will this transfer the planning and building of Blue Mt. Park, and the Dog Park? Can these be developed as Volunteer Projects with Foundation Oversight, with City Planning Approval of course? Minimal City Costs for trash pick up and perhaps water.
In the Past Service Organizations and the Foundation of Grand Terrace started events and eventually those events were taken over by the City... It is more efficient to have the events and special activities and perhaps all volunteers co-ordinates by non- City Management. This will par down the function of the City hall to what it was intended to be when the city became a city. We wanted, service contracts negotiated as a city period. All other activities were and should be citizen supported without City Hall's participation or interference.
In the future let's hope the community is informed about what comes under this new agreement. It is time to step up and support with funds or time or labor those events you think are important to the community.