As the Danville City Commission begins its consideration of several hundred thousand dollars in funding requests by local nonprofit organizations, it seems that a good starting point would be to require more detailed information on how those funds will be spent.
If the commission is to make a rational decision on which organizations to fund and how much should be provided to each agency, it needs to know how the money will be used.
The commission has a policy that agencies requesting money should include a budget for the use of city funds. Most of the agencies filing requests this year did not follow that policy, although they did provide an after-the-fact accounting of their spending in the 2002-2003 fiscal year.
Mayor John Bowling and several city commissioners have expressed concern about making sure that funds are spent on city residents. Concern also was expressed about funding education programs that would appear to be the responsibility of local school districts rather than local government. It's difficult to see how the city commission can address these concerns without more information from the nonprofit organizations.