Why Contracted Services Matters

There is always quite a bit of chatter when the City talks about granting money to not-for-profits. I’ve received emails from both sides of the discussion. Some folks are adamant it’s not the government’s role to use tax money for things outside of infrastructure, public safety and the like. On the flip-side are folks who feel the government is to slow to react to community needs, and a lean non-profit can move quickly to address needs in the community much faster than the City could.

Whatever your side, we are well on our way to grant out close to three quarters of a million dollars to various non-profits this year. For the past couple of years, the City has worked hard to shift this process to a more outcomes-based system.  That means an organization must produce or exceed a set results or outcomes throughout the course of the year to continue to receive City funding.  Think of the private sector putting out a request for bids to do a job, then paying down half at the beginning and half when the work has been done satisfactorily.

So why is this the City’s role when it comes to not-for-profits?  Ultimately the City must provide a community people want to live in. That means citizens need to feel safe, have good roads, clean water and the like. Many of these organizations have the ability help achieve certain aspects of this Quality of Life goal much cheaper than could the City. Our role in granting these funds is to ensure we are getting the biggest bang for our buck and making Topeka the best community for everyone to call home.