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Homers and Gomers

The Gazette

October 23, 2006

[Note: This material is copyright by The Gazette, and is reproduced here as a matter of "fair use" for non-commercial, educational purposes only. Any other use may require the prior approval of The Gazette.]

Homers:  What’s going right

  ARTS FUNDING: The Cedar Rapids City Council has made overdue changes to its hotel-motel revenue allocations, freeing up almost $200,000 to invest in arts, culture, entertainment and tourism-related enterprises. The biggest change is that two police officers and a firefighter that had been paid for by hotel-motel tax revenues will be funded by other tax sources instead. The $2 million a year that a tax on hotel and motel rooms generates is one of the very few sources a city has to aid organizations adding to the quality of life of the community, so it makes sense not to divert that source to programs and services that can be paid for out of other funding streams.

Gomers:  What’s going wrong

  TOO LATE TO HELP: In hindsight, one wonders if the fate of the Cedar Rapids Science Station and other struggling non-profit organizations may have been altered if the community had been quicker to establish a non-profit resource center. The center is up and running and making admirable progress toward helping non-profit groups become better trained, better organized, more sustainable operations. But with the resource center still in its infancy, it is not in a position to reach out to help identify and correct problems of individual organizations.