All of the nonprofits help Scotts Valley residents to some degree. Most of them were part of the Human Care Alliance, which was requesting $54,000 from the city, which accounted for a 2.6 percent increase over the previous year, as well as an extra few thousand dollars for specific projects.
Debra Bone, director of the Santa Cruz Stroke and Disability Center, spoke on behalf of the alliance as more than a dozen other directors lined up behind her to speak to the council. It was nearly the entire audience.
"These programs serve seniors, people with disabilities, youth, families … we do a lot of different things for Scotts Valley residents," Bone said.
The agencies' needs and services covered a wide range. Kathleen Johnson of Advocacy Inc. said her nonprofit, which looks out for seniors in care homes, asked for an extra $300 to help pay some of the costs the ombudsman accrue during their checkups. Grey Bears, which delivers food to 300 seniors in Scotts Valley, asked for an additional $1,300 for its Brown Bag program, and the Second Harvest Food Bank, which provides food to the Valley Church pantry, asked for an additional $147.
Council members were sympathetic and praised the work of the agencies.
"I've seen lives changed because of the efforts of people like you," said Councilman Randy Johnson.
Johnson proposed a 4.5 percent increase in the city's funding for the programs, but curtailed much of the special requests back. "I think that keeps us below $50,000," he said. "We have about 12,000 people in this community and that's about $4 per person. I think that's a pretty good deal."
The resolution passed on a 4-1 vote with Mayor Jim Reed in dissent.
"We are still not on a sustainable fiscal path right now," Reed said. "We've had police that have gone years without raises … people that we've laid off that we haven't hired back."
The City has a budgeted surplus of $789,588 this year, but it's a one-time thing, boosted by the Measure U sales tax and the final payment from the county to the city on back taxes it owes. That money is slated for the city's reserve fund, bringing it up to $1.45 million. The city's total expenditures are set at $8.78 million.