County Board OKs Human Services Funds

At its May 18, 2011 meeting, the Washtenaw County board of commissioners gave initial approval to allocations for $507,500 in children’s well-being and human services funding for 2011. Tentative approval for additional funds in 2012 and 2013 were also approved, contingent on the board’s approval of those budgets later this year. Commissioner Dan Smith voted against the allocations, citing an objection to one line item. He later clarified for The Chronicle that he objected to funding for Planned Parenthood.

The allocations for these awards were recommended by a coordinated funding review committee. The process is being managed by the joint county/city of Ann Arbor office of community development, which is coordinating the funding efforts of the county, the city of Ann Arbor, the United Way of Washtenaw County, and the Washtenaw Urban County. [.pdf of funding recommendations]

More than 20 people spoke on the issue during public commentary. Most were supportive of individual nonprofits and, more broadly, of a social safety net. Three speakers urged the board not to grant funding to Planned Parenthood.

The county board of commissioners approved this coordinated funding approach at its Nov. 3, 2010 meeting. Commissioners had been briefed on the effort at an Oct. 7 working session, and most recently discussed the process at its May 4 meeting. The Ann Arbor city council, at its meeting on Monday, May 16, tabled action on its human services allocations – along with all other budget-related items – until a continuation of the meeting on May 23.

For the county’s allocations, final approval is expected at the county board’s June 1 meeting.

This brief was filed from the boardroom of the county administration building at 220 N. Main St. in Ann Arbor. A more detailed report will follow.