One thought on “Human Services Public Hearing”

  1. Last night was historic and I hope people come out again in droves at the next meeting.

    I sent this to the “Daily Chronicle” on May 30th. I talked to the editor on June 2nd and was told the newspaper would print it. I have not seen it yet:

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    Editor,

    Cutting funding to local non-profit service agencies has great potential for costing taxpayers more money in the future. Most of the agencies that the City of DeKalb wants to cut from the budget help young people, through early education that will help toddlers when they enter kindergarten later or youth intervention programs, which can help kids straighten out their lives and make better choices before it is too late. Young children who cannot keep up in school and youth who make poor life choices are at high risk of ending up in prison later, costing taxpayers more money. The number one factor in predicting high school drop out rates is the reading level by third grade, as described by Anamaria Wilson in “The Gift of Literacy,” in “Time Magazine.” I should not have to tell anyone that high school dropouts have higher rates of incarceration. According to the Illinois Department of Corrections Web site, on average, the Tamms Correctional Center costs taxpayers a staggering $58,994 per prisoner, per year. That is just for prison, without considering the costs to send someone to prison, such as the court system and law enforcement.

    Human services cannot rely on grant money alone. The way matching grants work, non-profits have to show that they have local support in order to qualify to submit the grant application. In other words, no local support means no grants. Services that help young children with their education and help kids make better choices so they stay out of jail later should have priority, as they can be an investment to save taxpayer money. In order to invest taxpayer dollars wisely and to save tax money in the future, I urge the City of DeKalb to reconsider its proposed cuts to most of the human services targeted. There are many citizens in the community angry that the city targeted these organizations for cuts out of the general fund yet the city can find money for very expensive projects, such as the buying up of private properties downtown and subsequent building tear down through TIF. Some of these citizens are angry enough to take their spending dollars to Sycamore businesses in protest. I do not believe the DeKalb City Council will want to witness the loss of sales tax dollars and revenue to Sycamore.

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