Saturday, September 19, 2020

Money Shamefully Spent

Letters to the Editor submitted to The Coronado Times are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher, editors or writers of this publication. Submit letters to

Submitted by Barry Austin

Am I the only one to feel outraged that the Mayor and Council, under cover of restricted public involvement, gave away taxpayer funds to at least one organization that didn’t need any money? And that as a result the Mayor and Council reduced the funding to an organization that serves Coronado’s youth, ensuring that some critical youth services will be terminated? Yes indeed, and it all occurred at the 21 July 2020 Council meeting.

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community grant awardsOrganizations requested $1.4M of grants, while the budget was $800K; so cuts had to be made. Mayor and Council agreed to these criteria for funding: First, organizations that were previously funded but the money wasn’t used were zeroed, such as the Coronado Flower Show. Second, anything that didn’t absolutely, positively need to be funded this year was deferred, such as a sound system for the COSA Dance Studio. Third, effort that City workers could do would be done by the City instead of the outside organizations, such as maintaining the Orange Avenue median gardens.

For some reason, all three criteria were discarded when the Coronado Senior Association was discussed. Mayor and Council were advised that CSA currently has enough funds on hand from prior grants for more than two full years of operations. Mayor and Council were also advised that the City had already provided funds to the Spreckels Center for effort that was proposed by the Senior Association. And, if failing all three criteria for awarding funds to the Senior Association wasn’t enough, Mayor and Council were advised that the organization did not meet the requirements of Council Policy #28, Community Grant Program.

So it should have been a no-brainer: zero out the Coronado Senior Association, and use the funds elsewhere. But that’s not what happened. Instead, funds were taken from what other organizations would have received and were given to the Senior Association.

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What organization “lost” the most dollars? Coronado’s youth, courtesy of a $65,820 funding cut to Coronado SAFE.

Providing the Coronado Senior Association with dollars it didn’t need and which would be used to duplicate City-provided services was deemed more important than Coronado’s youth! By unanimous vote of the “adults” on the dais.

I hope Coronado voters remember what Richard Bailey, Whitney Benzian, Mike Donovan, Marvin Heinze, and Bill Sandke did to Coronado’s youth on 21 July. I won’t be able to forget. Nor will Coronado’s youth, and the adults who care about them.

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Join me in expressing outrage to our elected “leaders.”

Barry Austin


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Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is thrilled to call Coronado home and raise her two children here. In her free time enjoys hitting the gym, reading, and walking her dog around the “island.”Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to:


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