Editorial: City policy on giving away money prudent

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 27, 2004

The city’s decision to investigate its loan to the Chamber of Commerce was the right decision. However, it would have been prudent to establish the legalities prior to approval.

We don’t argue the validity of giving the chamber a loan &045; the city should provide some assistance to the chamber, after all the chamber helps advocate for and promote business within the city.

But the decision and its aftermath goes a long way toward proving an earlier point we made that the council should have some policy in place for giving away what limited funds it has to give. Having such guidelines would assist the council in making its decisions and avoiding the questions now being raised.

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The policy could incorporate a two-week period prior to approval of financial requests, to allow council members and legal counsel a couple weeks to consider the request, check into legalities, and double check fund balances.

Local governments were hit hard by the state’s cuts to Local Government Aid the past couple years. It just makes sense to take a little time to ensure donations, even those that are good choices, are on the up-and-up and that they are affordable.