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A year ago, with elections nearing and criticism growing about their performance, the county supervisors took action to reform a program that was a constant source of controversy for the board: The grant program that allows supervisor to give $2 million each ($10 million total) to local nonprofits.

They’d given the money out in good times, describing it as surplus revenue. Then they started laying off employees — because they didn’t have enough revenue — but still kept giving the grants out.

So they changed the name. (The community projects grants became known as the Neighborhood Reinvestment Program.) And they changed some grant-giving requirements.

Then it dropped out of the public eye. Until Supervisor Pam Slater-Price — who’s used the program more than other supervisor to send money to campaign donors — was caught not disclosing gifts she got from groups she funded with the taxpayer money. That’s brought calls to eliminate the program altogether.

Two of her colleagues said today the program should be scaled back. The North County Times says Dianne Jacob and Greg Cox are proposing cutting the program in half, giving out $5 million annually instead of $10 million starting in July.

From the story:

The two supervisors said in a Wednesday memo that the cut is appropriate in light of pressures on the county budget.

“Given the current grim economic realities including the serious reduction in county revenues that support core county services, it is logical to reduce funding for even the most worthwhile of county programs,” the memo to fellow supervisors reads.

— ROB DAVIS

Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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