Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Portland West Escapes CMPAC Cuts

In the first round of preliminary voting on January 26, the City Manager’s Policy Advisory Committee voted 5-4 to fully fund Portland West’s Community Outreach program for $30,000.
According to Portland West, the program focuses on after-school educational programs, a major shift from previous years when the agency’s community outreach consisted of such things as the Time Dollar program, the Neighbors multi-lingual newspaper, and the holiday gift distribution program.

Portland West has been conducting an intensive lobbying campaign of CMPAC board members in order to insure their full funding. Portland West’s Director of Programs Tom Pearson sat in on several meetings as an observer, saying that he wanted to get a better understanding of what the board was looking for.

West End Neighborhood Association representative Catherine Whittemore, who made the motion to fully fund the Portland West request, was one of only two board members who voted to give Amistad, a local support program for people with mental illness, only $15,000 of its $18,000 request.

Other family support services did not fare as well. The committee voted to give no funding to the Center for Grieving Children, which had requested $10,000. They also cut the Visiting Nurses of Southern Maine’s $10,000 request in half, and voted to give the Franny Peabody Center about $1200 less than the $17,000 it asked for. Sexual Assault/Response Services got the full amount in its request -$10,800.

CMPAC is scheduled to meet again for its next round of voting on February 2nd.


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