Nothing Perplexing About REACH Funding

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An anonymous coward has penned an open letter to the Cannon Courier which has been posted on another local Web site.

The jest of the letter is that the Courier is providing its readers with inaccurate information when it comes to funding of the Cannon County REACH Afterschool Program.

The Courier has reported that REACH receives it funding from grants, tuitions, fundraisers, and donations, but is not supported by the taxpayers of Cannon County through property taxes or its share of state sales taxes.

The bone of contention centers around last year's state audit which reported the REACH program was subsidized during the fiscal year audited to the tune of $19,905. The Courier was the first to report on the findings of the audit.

What the perplexed letter writer fails to comprehend, either because they are stupid or simply because they don't want to acknowledge the truth, is that REACH is a continuously operating program, and continues to receive grants, tuition, and hold fundraisers after June 30 of each fiscal year.

That has been the case since the program began over 10 years ago, and will continue to be as long as it is in operation. Why? Because money from grants, whether it be for REACH or any other program that is sustained by grants, isn't awarded on a set timetable or schedule.

However, REACH has received money since June 30 of last year that has been put back into the County's General Fund, the amount of which far exceeds the $19,905. Therefore, any money REACH "owed" the county for that fiscal year has been paid back.

It is far from uncommon for governments and governmental agencies, which REACH is considered to be, to spend or budget money in anticipation of what it might receive. The state and federal governments do it every year.

The same coward behind the computer also criticizes the Courier for believing the information it is provided by REACH Director Angela King and County Executive Mike Gannon, and not checking the "facts."

Well, here are some "facts": The Courier can not check with the letter writer, because he or she is a coward and does not sign a name to what they write. The Courier has not received any information contradicting what it is told by King and Gannon from any source which might have knowledge of the situation, such as a county commissioner, whose job it is to oversee the county's budget. There is no state audit that says REACH funding has been misappropriated, fraudulently spent, or stolen.

The fact is, King and Gannon are the only people willing to go on the record, while others seems only to be able to speak while trolling in the human waste of what amounts to nothing more than an online sewage system.

And it is also a fact that the Courier is the only entity, media or otherwise, to have the guts to ask King and Gannon about the REACH budget and funding, and to have their statements on record.

Until such time as it is proven to the Courier that the REACH program takes more money out of the General Fund than it returns, and does so for a period covering two fiscal years, we will continue to report what we know at this point to be true: that county taxpayers do not support or subsidize the REACH program.

Kevin Halpern
Editor, The Cannon Courier
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April 22, 2010 at 10:22pm
Mr. Halpern,
I am not impressed with your story, it leaves me with a awful taste in my mouth. You have no right calling folks a coward, not when you have reporters that will not report certain stories. It seems that the only website that folks around here can espress their opinion is one The Wire. It's a know fact that The Courier is very selective in their posts and not everything is posted. Speaking of human waste, if it were not for peoples' opinion WHO would keep the politicians honest? Not you, anyone can buy an ad! I am not a coward call me we can talk. 765-5185 Karen Melton
April 23, 2010 at 5:15am
"..if it were not for peoples' opinion WHO would keep the politicians honest?"

Who or what is keeping the people who post those opinions anonymously honest?

Ms. Melton, it is of course news to me that we have reporters who will not cover certain stories. I make decisions on what stories are covered, and I do not recall ever turning you down on one you suggested, or you bringing to my attention that another reporter on staff did.

Yes we are "selective" in what we post on our site, or print in our newspaper. We do not allow the posting of information that we do not know to be true and accurate as it pertains to accusing another person of a crime. That said, we have only rejected two posts since the site began last July.

What do you call people who make public accusations about other people behind secret identities, brave? Have you ever been the victim of such actions? If there is truth to what people speak about public officials, why are they afraid to reveal who they are?

I am as interested in the truth as you are. There was no one standing with me Tuesday morning when I went to the County Executive's office to suggest that a special meeting of the County Commission be called to address the concerns over the REACH budget in a public forum. Or when I later went to the REACH office and suggested that the director demand a special meeting to do so.

If people were making accusations about me, I would want to address them publicly. In fact I did — and signed my name.

Kevin Halpern, 563-2512.
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