Two city agencies may lose tens of thousands of dollars after reaching an impasse over how to spend the money.
Alderman Greg Helding put in two communications for Monday's City Council meeting to take $30,000 from the Racine Public Library's budget and $40,000 from the city's cable-access TV budget. Both the library and CAR25 have failed to spend the money despite support from the City Council and mayor to do so.
Mayor John Dickert wanted to spend $40,000 to hire an internationally renown TV journalist to revamp the station. Dickert's plans were thwarted by the station's board and eventually by the City Council. Despite the consultant's credentials, the mayor was criticized because he didn't take bids for the job and was friends with person he recommended for the contract.
The council voted last fall to give the library an additional $33,000 to open on Sundays during the school year, but five months later the library has yet to add the hours. The issue now appears dead. The library just reached a contract with a union that did not include Sunday hours, and it appears the Library Board is reluctant to reconsider the issue.
Helding's communication requests transferring the $40,000 from CAR25's professional services account to the city's "Judgement and Claims" account, which took a hit earlier this year when the city agreed to pay Sandra Tingle $50,000 to settle her case sexual harassment claim.
As for the library money, Helding wants to move $30,000 of the funding to the city's "Contingency" account, which is typically used for unexpected expenses. The money could also be carried over into the 2011 budget, which is already looking tight.