Letter to the editor
Get the facts straight
In response to the letter from Ms. Wied who wrote that she "was saddened to learn that the City Council" would not give $2,900 to an WLHS afterschool Robotics club —being a member of the West Linn Citizen's Budget Committee I feel compelled to present the facts.
The City Community grants are meant for organizations that provide a "civic" service to some or sometimes all our citizens. An example of the latter would be the approximate $1,900 that the City used to pay for the insurance coverage for the July 4th fireworks display in Willamette Park. A grant to the local food bank is another way the City supports some of our less fortunate citizens. In the Robotics Teams case, your presenters described a week-long course (fee based at $45) that introduced students to Robotics. I asked if there were scholarships available for low income families who could not afford the tuition. The answer was no.
Additionally the Committee considered the precedent that would be set in upcoming years where various other clubs (i.e. chess, soccer to attend a tournament in Seattle, etc) could expect some financial assistance from the City s' Community Grant fund. We voted unanimously to not fund the Robotics team.
I want you to know that having spent 40-plus years in IT, I certainly support the Robotics Club.
Again I applaud the robotic teams' efforts but in my view the Community Grants serve a different purpose.
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