Among the funding requests cut by the Council from its budget was one for the Bronx African American Chamber of Commerce, which was slated to get $10,000 at the request of City Councilman Larry Seabrook. The organization earned some attention when it came out that they never accounted for the ultimate destination of $994,488 they received last year.
After voting in favor of the budget, Seabrook told me, “I didn’t put it in — that was a mistake on their end,” referring to the Council staff.
A spokesman for the City Council explained the mistake, saying that Seabrook had initially asked for the money but later recsinded the request. That later request was not communicated to the Council staffers in time before the Schedule C document was published.
Another group erroneously listed is called “Man Up, Inc.,” which was slated to get $40,000 from City Councilwoman Darlene Mealy of Brooklyn for “personnel, supplies, utilities, etc.” Mealy learned of the group’s “erroneous” funding when I approached her after voting for the budget. “This is the first time I’m seeing this,” she said. When Mealy made the remark, she had a stack of papers in her hands, including the public “note” released by the City Council saying the funding was listed erroneously. (The Council spokesman declined to comment on how she could have been taken by surprise.)
Among the other take-backs:
Parkville Youth Organization’s $5,000 for “sports uniforms and equipment” from City Councilwoman Sara Gonzalez of Brooklyn was withdrawn. According to the group’s web site, it is a “Not-for-Profit corporation chartered by the State of New York,” and has operated since 1963.
A $41,414 request by City Councilwoman Helen Foster for SCAN-New York Volunteer Parent-Aides Association Inc. was also withdrawn . The group had been listed as a fiscal conduit to other, unspecified local groups “within the 6th Council District” for “after school programs/summer camps” and other programs. The group is listed as a funding recipient of $300,000 from the state’s office of Children and Family Services.
A $10,000 request made by City Councilwoman Carmen Arroyo of the Bronx for the group called “For a Better Bronx” was withdrawn. According to their web site, the group works for “environmental justice and countering institutional racism.”
And a $51,714 request for funds made by City Councilwoman Maria Baez of the Bronx for the Alliance for Community Services to “fund trips and recreation activities” was withdrawn. The group is still slated to get a total of $146,500 for similar purposes, at Baez’s request.