Council approves funding for CSAFE

July 16, 2003|by SCOTT BUTKI

A majority of Hagerstown City Council members gave general approval on Tuesday to giving $17,000 to the program formerly known as HotSpot Communities for after-school programs.

Program coordinator Carolyn Brooks had asked for $45,000.

Brooks has told both the Washington County Commissioners and the City Council that a state budget cut left the organization without $90,000 to pay for after-school programs at Winter Street, Bester, Eastern and Fountaindale elementary schools.

The County Commissioners agreed to give the program $45,000 for after-school programs regardless of the amount provided by the city.

The commissioners' July 8 approval of a $45,000 donation to the crime-prevention program resulted in confusion over their intentions.

Hours after the vote, the commissioners disagreed about whether they had voted to provide the money only if the city provided the same amount.


The HotSpot program, which has operated in Hagerstown for more than five years, now is known as CSAFE - Cooperative Supervision and Focused Enforcement.

A majority of council members said they support giving HotSpot $17,000 in funds cut from three other organizations earlier in the year.

Councilman Kristin B. Aleshire said it would be irresponsible for the city to contribute $45,000 to the program because the city hasn't heard whether there might be more funding cuts from the state.

Councilmen Lewis C. Metzner and N. Linn Hendershot opposed the council deciding on funding for HotSpot before determining whether money can be found for an after-school mentoring program provided by the Police Athletic League (PAL).

Earlier at Tuesday's meeting, council members called on the county to reverse an earlier decision and restore funding for the PAL program.

Councilwoman Penny May Nigh said she objected to Metzner tying the two issues together.

"You are twisting it all around like you always do," Nigh said to Metzner.

Metzner said he wants the city to find a way to ensure that both programs are funded.

Mayor William M. Breichner suggested Brooks approach the Washington County Board of Education about whether it also could help fund the program.

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