Local Non-Profit Organizations Want More Bang For Their Buck

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin

On the city and county levels, there are people who think budgets should be bigger, or smaller; or property taxes should be cut, or not cut.

Opinions not heard are those from our areas most vulnerable citizens.

Whether watching your local news on television, reading the newspaper, or listening to the radio; you're sure to learn of someone's opinion on something.

Gordon Walker and Noah Schwartz, are executive directors of two local non-profit organizations, who are working with nine others to ask local jurisdictions for priority on their budget lists.

"Our costs go up like any other full-profit business. Health insurance goes up, office supplies go up, and everything else rises", said Noah Schwartz, Executive Director of the Monticello Area Community Action Agency.

With Walker and Schwartz, leaders from 11 area NPO's have signed petitions to both city and county officials asking for money to give the areas' underserved.

"Non-profit organizations are serving the majority of our most vulnerable neighbors. They've joined to petition elected officials in the city and county for more resources", said Gordon Walker, Executive Director of the Jefferson Area Board for Aging.

According to Walker, the small increases put forward by the city manager and the county executive don't even keep pace with inflation.

Walker added, "If they're going to give you between a 1.5% to 2% increase, and inflation is at 3%-- you're going to lose ground."

The duo agrees, the difference between what's requested, and what's proposed in the City budget is: "$116,000. The difference for what was requested in the County of Albemarle, and what was proposed is a difference is a $147,000", said Schwartz.

For every dollar of local government funding, many more are raised by the non-profits organizations themselves.

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