I was pretty vocal a few months ago when Mayor Jim Lane led the Scottsdale City Council in doing away with the city’s after-school program. This program was established in no small part to provide activities to keep kids off the streets after school hours. “The devil finds work for idle hands,” and kids that don’t have (or who don’t think they have) anything to do will get into trouble. The after-school program was probably one of the best public safety investments the city ever made.
In an effort to streamline the city budget, Lane led the charge to axe the program and save about $400,000/year. Unfortunately, at almost the exact same moment he led the city council in authorizing the expenditure of almost that amount EVERY MONTH to the Scottsdale Cultural Council, a private business with virtually no performance measures whatsoever. That’s just the most public of the many ways the city wastes money while they cut valuable services to the residents.
Credit is due to the staff for coming up with a fairly reasonably-priced replacement program: Thrive After Three.
Enroll your child in “Thrive After Three,” Scottsdale’s after-school program
Looking for after-school care for your child? The city offers the “Thrive After Three” program at nine locations throughout Scottsdale – Pima Park House; Paiute, Mountain View and Horizon community centers; and Yavapai, Hohokam, Navajo, Cheyenne and Tonalea elementary schools. Programs start at school release times, run until 6 p.m. and are available to children in grades first through sixth. Trained recreation leaders conduct daily activities that include sports and fitness, arts and crafts, and nutritional education programs. Registration is $55 a month and fee assistance is available for those who qualify. For fee assistance information, call, (480) 312-7957. For more information about the program or to register, call (480) 312-2313 or visit www.scottsdaleaz.gov/parks/asp.
Undoubtedly many of the previous participants will need the fee assistance that is offered, so I have my doubts that the city will really save a lot of money by what may turn out to be a simple restructuring, especially in this economy when people are loosing their homes and jobs.
What do you think?