The city council recently allocated nearly $340,000 of its $400,000 "civic and cultural affairs account" by dividing the money up between its six majority Democrats and letting them each hand it out as they saw fit.
The process raised the eyebrows of the council's three minority-party members.
Apparently, it also raised some eyebrows over at Hartford 2000 -- the agency that serves as an umbrella organization for the city's various neighborhood revitalization zones. Hartford 2000 got $2,500 from the council.
But, in a letter sent July 29, Hartford 2000 said thanks, but no thanks. (Image: Hartford 2000)
"If the process were open, the NRZs and Hartford 2000 would be happy to apply for funding," reads a letter signed by the organization's co-chairs, Joseph Barber and Bernadine Silvers. "But the membership was reluctant to accept funds on behalf of Hartford 2000, which were allocated through such a seemingly flawed process."
The letter said the council's allocations lacked "an open and transparent application process with clear selection criteria. During a time of budgetary stress, this seems to be a poor way to set public policy and distribute public funds."