Editor's Note: This article was written by a Volunteer Writer and does not reflect the views of Indian River News and or its' Owner.
As you may know, I was not in favor of a Children’s Services new taxing authority. Having been involved in a number of charities around the area, I’m also familiar with the excellent programs and services many provide. No one suggests we should not help support a number of these programs but we now have to be very aware of the nuances and messaging within the programs and their actual success rates.
I spoke with someone recently who was familiar with the concept behind the original CSAC when the county decided it needed to give grants to some much-needed children’s charities. He said the original intent was to give $25 – 30,000 seed money grants to fledgling organizations and see if they flourished and met goals. I may be wrong, but I don’t believe any of the commissioners back in the day thought they’d be giving well established and financially supported independent, nonprofits so much money every year…some over $100,000 yearly.
The push for the Children’s Trust really put CSAC on my and many other’s radar screens and the need for taxpayer oversight of the growing expenditures. That’s why I was concerned when I saw the CSAC board had budgeted a funding grant to the Young Journalists Program headed up by Thomas Hardy. After nearly 2 years of following the actions of the school district and school board, I’m very attuned to the problems in our education system from lagging reading scores to Progressive messaging trying to change how kids think and condition them to accept a Liberal/Socialist view of our country.
I have had many ‘conversations’ with Mr. Hardy over the years, too many to count at this point, but one thing has always remained perfectly clear, he is a strong Progressive. His dislike of former President Trump is matched only by his dislike for parents who want to have a say in what and how their kids are taught…or what books are bought with our tax dollars. His love for the religion of Climate Change has been evident in his choice of columnists and the projects he’s supported. A large, controlling government is his preference.
Fortunately, it’s a free country and he and I can have different political as well as scientific views. But after what I’ve seen from the Education Industry Elites and what they want to teach our children, the last thing we need is Thomas Hardy bending the minds of young people with his front of an educational writing program. Inspiring young writers is laudable but steering their perspectives and thoughts is not.
One of my biggest concerns with the Children’s Trust, in addition to the sky high projected budget rollout, was the diminishing of taxpayer control by the separation of elected officials from the responsibilities of money management. However, when the CSAC budget for 2022-23 appeared recently as a Consent Agenda item with a grant budget of nearly $2.5 million and with no time for public comment, we were headed in the same exact direction! Consent Agenda items should be called Rubber Stamp items.
Not only does this entire process concern me, I’m also asking, ‘who decides what goes on the Rubber Stamp Agendas and shouldn’t our elected representatives be deciding this?’ Should there be a cap on the amount of taxpayer dollars spent in a Rubber Stamp Agenda item? Now, not only do we have to monitor more closely the actions of the CSAC and the agencies receiving our tax dollars, but we also have to pay closer attention to what important items are being shoved below the radar onto the Rubber Stamp Agenda. Who really controls the purse strings?
I’m sorry Commissioner Moss was in an accident and not able to attend the last meeting, but I’m glad the CSAC agenda item was pushed to this coming meeting. I’m pleased to see it will now be a true Action Item and open for public comment. I, unfortunately, will be gone then and will not be able to attend and speak. I’m sure there are others who will wish to do so.
In these times, we must be ever vigilant of what and how our children are being taught and that includes by whom. The school district also bears responsibility for monitoring who comes into the schools and what message they’re bringing. I’ve contacted them about this issue as well. We know where the road paved with good intentions goes…let’s detour it now, before we get there. Don’t approve taxpayer dollars for the Young Journalists Program and let’s all get more involved in what we’re spending taxpayer monies on and what services they’re providing.
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