Letter to the Editor
I have watched with interest the Humane Society’s request for the city to increase its subsidy by nearly double.
I was equally surprised and grateful that Mayor Vulich vetoed the Council's vote to approve this huge increase.
It was good to take a time out when such a large increase is demanded and as our city has imposed staggering increases to the water, sewer and garbage fees.
I am also aware the city has been asked to subsidize the YWCA Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Resource Center at a cost of some $53,000 or roughly one-half of the shortfall they will incur due to the loss of state funding.
The surrounding communities have agreed to pay their fair share of this shortfall. (The fair share was determined by dividing the number of persons using the shelter in the past year into the $100,000 shortfall and then determining which community each person came from.)
The Clinton Herald reported the city council has suggested giving $25,000 from the Humane Society's requested subsidy of $125,000. (up from last year's $67,000 subsidy) to aid victims of domestic violence and who have no where else to turn.
When our tax dollars are distributed among the many worthy needs, the priority should be to help our citizens and the most vulnerable among us. I ponder the morality of giving $125,000 to house and take care of abandoned and unwanted animals versus $53,000 to protect and care for our own who have experienced the horrors of abuse either as a parent or as beautiful and innocent children. Surely our responsibility is greater to our brothers and sisters in Clinton.
If the council would subsidize the YWCA request of $53,000 by taking all of the money from the Humane Society’s demand for $125,000 the Humane Society would still be getting nearly a 10 percent increase in their highest budget. Are there many departments getting an increase in their budget?
We all have a responsibility to contact our state lawmakers with petitions, letters and calls to restore the level of funding previously given to these shelters throughout the state. They should stop their plans to regionalize such shelters as the price tag for such a plan will cripple our cities. If indeed we have a budget surplus as our Governor says, then surely we ought to fund such shelters.
If the city does not step up to fund this worthy and valuable resource in our community, who will? Can the police department afford to take on this responsibility, can the fire department, or the justice system? Please give this serious consideration and fund our “fair share” of the YWCA's $100,000 shortfall.