Crestview councilman questions Relay, other nonprofit support

thomas gordon crestview city council

Thomas Gordon, Crestview City Council

Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 07:01 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Though the City Council agreed to provide logistical support for the April 26 and 27 Relay for Life, some city leaders have expressed concern that spending more than $1,000 at a time when city workers have lost their jobs is unwise.

The council on Monday voted 3-2 to approve Relay for Life organizers' request to shave $1,161.32 from the local American Cancer Society fundraiser’s expenses. Councilman Thomas Gordon and Council President Benjamin Iannucci III voted nay.

Requested city contributions included a metal trash container; equipment and labor to hang banners and mark the track; and have Public Works staff stand by during the overnight event. Relay organizers also requested the city waive its $500 rental fee for Old Spanish Trail Park’s amphitheater.

"I support it (the relay), but opening a Pandora's Box to do it — the next thing you know, every nonprofit will be asking us to provide staff," Gordon said.

Councilman Charles Baugh Jr. agreed, but suggested due to the impending event date, the council approve the request.

"We have had to unfund positions and lay people off, and then to be asked to put $1,100 of taxpayer money into the event — we have to weigh the costs," Iannucci said. "If we do it for one, how do we say 'no' to another non-profit?

“What makes one 501(c)3 more important than another?"

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