FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2009
The Erie County Legislature Finance, Management and Budget Committee is seeking further financial information and transparency from the administration over arts and cultural funding following testimony it received at Friday's 2010 proposed budget hearing.
The committee and other legislators heard from representatives of various arts and cultural organizations, with repeated complaints and questions received on how the Erie County Cultural Resource Advisory Board (ECCRAB) made its funding recommendations and how the administration turned them into budgetary funding proposals.
County Legislator Betty Jean Grant (D-Buffalo) pointed out that the African American arts and cultural communities appeared to have received unfair funding cuts
"I am requesting that the Commissioner of Environment and Planning, the official who overseas the ECCRAB funding process, meet with the Community Enrichment Committee, which I chair, and other interested legislators," Legislator Grant said. "We deserve to have all the information to make wise and proper decisions."
County Legislator Robert B. Reynolds (D-Hamburg, Evans), chair of the Finance, Management and Budget Committee, said that it was imperative for the committee and legislators to receive data concerning the amounts of funding that arts and cultural groups had requested from the administration. This included groups that did not receive funding as well as those that were recommended to receive funds. The County Legislature has previously requested this information from the administration.
"The next step for the Budget Committee is to get down to the hard work of formulating a budget plan," Legislator Reynolds said. "It is here that the needs of the communities are evaluated to provide the necessary services while being as efficient with taxpayers' dollars as possible."
"I would like to thank all of the people, from county department heads to arts and cultural organization officials, for participating in this week's proposed budget hearings," Legislator Reynolds said.
The Finance, Management and Budget Committee will continue its deliberations on the proposed 2010 budget, with the public hearing that will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, November 12, in the County Legislature Chambers on the Fourth Floor of 92 Franklin Street in Buffalo. All citizens are invited to attend.