Talks continue about controversial idea for city to move funds for nonprofits

Mayor Ivy Taylor, Councilman Ron Nirenberg discuss their differing ideas

By Courtney Friedman - VJ, Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - City Council members are still hashing out a controversial proposal to reallocate money for non-profits. It's where the money could be taken from, that's creating a cause for conversation.

Some $1.3 million could soon be budgeted next year for workforce and education programs. It's a move Mayor Ivy Taylor supports.

"As a city with limited taxpayer dollars I think we need to think and talk more about how we can invest in programs that help to eliminate poverty," she said.

The issue is, that money could be taken from the community safety net, which includes programs for domestic violence and child abuse. District 8 Councilman Ron Nirenberg immediately objected.

"I think it's bad policy for us to remove money from community safety net programs that are tackling some of the worst problems in San Antonio," Nirenberg said.

Mayor Taylor says it's early, and that nonprofits are just now submitting applications for funding.

"The council is not aware of any specific applications for funding so therefore we did not discuss any specific agencies having their funding cut," she said. "We have ample opportunity for discussion and the council has the discretion to then make adjustments."

However, Nirenberg doesn't believe it's early.

"The next time the council sees the budget, will be when it's written," he said. "If we don't give staff clear direction and a direction that's different from what the consensus has already been indicating, they will continue to develop a budget that cuts those funds."

That proposed budget will be give to the council in August. Nirenberg thinks there are other places to pull money for workforce programs, and wants that proposed before August.

"There are funds that are left unused in other agencies that the San Antonio City budget allocates towards that we can use very easily towards those purposes. We do not need and we should not compromise the budget for community safety net programs," he said.

Both Taylor and Nirenberg have agreed to continue discussions about this. 

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