Outreach Program - e-mail sent to Largo Mayor and City Commissioners
I know that the city just passed the new 2010 budget, which will fund the outreach program for about half a year unless another funding source is found. I understand that we are pushing this issue down the road and I would like to submit an idea to fund Outreach going into the future.
As a child, I attend the Lake Palms Outreach Center and credit it a great deal with the success I have had so far in my life. I graduated High School at the age of 16 and I am now one semester away from getting my bachelors degree at the University of South Florida. My parents brought their first and only home in the Lake Palms neighborhood and our family has lived in that same duplex for the past 19 years. Not only is my mother still a homeowner in the neighborhood, but we also rent a unit of that duplex.
So now that I have provided you with some of the background of my family in the Lake Palms community, now I would like to give you the solution I believe can address the funding issues facing outreach. Many opponents of the Outreach program have argued that Outreach only provides services to a single community, and for the most part they are right. Downtown has a Tax Increment Fund for projects that are specific to that area, I would like the commission to direct city staff to look into the idea of setting up a Outreach TIF fund, in which the members of the community can help self fund this valuable program. I know homeowners and rental property owners like my mother are willing to pay the extra tax to keep this program alive. What is most important though is that we continue to think outside the box and find a way to keep this program alive and open.
- Matthew Faustini
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