Non-profit organizations testify for grants after Honolulu City Council cuts fundingUPDATED 10:28 PM HST Oct 09, 2013Video Transcript
always an issue. But today money that some of those organizations were banking on was slashed by the Honolulu City Council. KITV4's Andrew Pereira joins us.... Andrew, why did the council cut those funds? Well Kenny and Yunji, it's because Council Chairman Ernie Martin went beyond a list approved by the Grants-in-Aid Advisory Commission. Representatives from dozens of nonprofits lined up to testify about their need for a city grant. Some asked Council members to follow the recommendations of the Grants- in-Aid Advisory Commission... CLAIRE SHIMABUKURO: "OUR REQUEST IS TO PAY KITCHEN COSTS IN NINE OF YOUR DISTRICTS TO DIRECTLY FEED CONSTITUENTS IN YOUR DISTRICT, AND SO THEREFORE WE REQUEST THE ORIGINAL AMOUNT." ...while others urged the Council not to forget about them. SCOTT NISHIMOTO: "IN ADDITION TO HAVING A SIGNIFICANT DISABILITY, MANY OF OUR CLIENTS ARE HOMELESS, VETERANS, FORMER FOSTER YOUTH AND ARE VICTIMS OF ONGOING ABUSE." Led by Council Chairman Ernie Martin, the Council added 11 organizations. That means nonprofits who received the highest scores on their proposals will see their grants cut by 25 percent. Instead of 41 grants, the city is now funding 52 organizations. Community Services Director Pamela Witty-Oakland said that's a problem. PAMELA WITTY-OAKLAND: "ANY CHANGE TO THE FUNDING LOGICALLY IMPLIES A CHANGE TO THE OUTCOME. SO, WE'RE SAYING THAT WE WILL NEED TO REVISIT EACH AND EVERY PROPOSAL BECAUSE THEIR PROPOSALS ARE ATTACHED TO THE CONTRACT AS A FORM OF MEASURING THE DELIVERABLES FOR EACH ORGANIZATION." "Meals on Wheels Hawaii" saw the amount of its grant cut by 91-thousand dollars. However Adult Friends for Youth would not have gotten a dime... if the council stuck to recommendations issued by the Grants in Aid Advisory Commission. Martin says all of the add-ons were fully vetted. ERNIE MARTIN: "THE COUNCIL DIDN'T ADD ANY PROJECTS THAT WEREN'T EVALUATED, AND THEY WERE ADDED BASED ON THE ORDER THAT THE COMMISSION EVALUATED THEM." ANDREW PEREIRA: "COUNCIL CHAIRMAN ERNIE MARTIN SAYS NONPROFITS WHO SAW THEIR GRANTS SLASHED BY 25 PERCENT COULD POSSIBLY RECOVER THOSE FUNDS DURING THE NEXT FISCAL YEAR. BUT WITH THE CITY FACING A PROJECTED BUDGET DEFICIT OF $156 MILLION, THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES." ERNIE MARTIN: "I'M HOPING THAT THE MAYOR ON HIS PART CAN DO IT HIMSELF, YOU KNOW. I THINK IT'S A MATTER OF REALLOCATING PRIORITIES." Martin says organizations would NOT have been added to the list if the grants-in-aid process had finished earlier in the fiscal year. Martin said it was also based on Mayor Kirk Caldwell's decision NOT to release an additional 8-point-3 million dollars beyond the 5-point-1 million nonprofits received this fiscal year. Back to you.