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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 9, 2009 9:31 AM. The previous post in this blog was Hot 'dogs for a cold day. The next post in this blog is Road rash. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

How's the Portland Children's Levy doing? Who knows?

The City of Portland just announced that it's looking for an outside contractor to evaluate the various mentoring programs that have been receiving tax dollars from the special "for the children" property tax levy. And in explaining the need for third-party help, the request for proposals reveals that nobody has much of any idea how effective the money spent so far has been:

Over the past six years, the Portland Children’s Levy has provided approximately $1.4 million annually to support approximately 12 programs in Portland. The Levy recently granted funds to continue funding these services for an additional 3 years.

The organizations operating the programs have had varying levels of success with program evaluation of the mentoring programs funded by the Levy, and program evaluation is a requirement of the Levy grants to the programs. Many of the programs have limited capacity to collect, analyze and report data that measure outcomes of the services they provide. The Portland Children’s Levy staff have minimal time and expertise to provide technical assistance for program evaluation to the mentoring programs funded by the Levy.

The Portland Children’s Levy seeks to hire a consultant with expertise in mentoring programming and program evaluation to provide technical assistance to Levy grantees in data collection, analysis and reporting.

The contract is supposed to run for two years, starting in March. No estimate is given as to how much the outside services will cost.

Comments (18)

Too bad we don't have a group like The Robinhood Foundation to run programs like these. They definitely know what they are doing.

"The Portland Children’s Levy is seeking proposals from individuals, firms, teams or consultants, with demonstrated experience in providing technical assistance related to program evaluation, data collection, analysis and reporting to non-profit corporations that provide mentoring programming."

How bout a simple job transfer? She's vastly experienced and she could just give the kids a "plot of dirt." (click her video, 5th one down on far left.)

http://www.portlandonline.com/mayor/staff.html

OMG Jack, there's a comedy gold mine in those staff videos! I just canceled my Net-Flicks subscription.

Remember: This levy is Saltzman's baby and he's up for re-election.

Also remember the city rule #834: "Never hire a consultant unless you know what they will say."

I would be shocked if Saltzman hasn't already written the report. The RFP is just to see who will sign it for the lowest price.

Another consultant? There goes the 1.4 Million.
Why can't one of Creepy's 30 staffers do it?

I'm sure glad all Portland's children are taken care of, well fed, housed and behaved since they're all paid for now.
Wait, what?

Portland hires employees based on their diversity, not their professional knowledge. It would be interesting to see how diverse the consultants are, at least the consultants they end up listening to.


"The Portland Children’s Levy staff have minimal time and expertise to provide technical assistance for program evaluation to the mentoring programs funded by the Levy."

So just what do the PCL staff do with their time? They are tasked with administration of the program but have no capacity for evaluating the results? Shame!

The Children’s initiative really showed how gullible Portland voters really are. Put children or zoo in a tax measure and it will be voted for. In actually this imitative was a boondoggle from the get go. It was a make jobs initiative for a few non-profits many of which are incompetent, spent inordinate amounts on administration and mostly wasted the rest. I welcome an audit, although to many sacred cows would have to be gored to get at the truth.

It was a make jobs initiative for a few non-profits many of which are incompetent, spent inordinate amounts on administration and mostly wasted the rest.

We could do a lost worse with public money that creating jobs with local non-profits.

If the money was run through ACORN or to ACORN-like organizations there's nothing to worry about.

One way or the other it went to good use.

In other words the City is pissing away money to non-profits that are so lame they have no clue how effective they actually are.

Bad Brad -

Do go bagging on Amy Ruiz; she's the best loved and most experienced member of Sam's team.

Here is the list funded this year.

http://www.childrensinvestmentfund.org/reports/Three-yearawards2009.pdf

There are a number of non-profit grading systems and watchdog groups out there that could be used at minimal or no cost to the city, Guidestar or even the BBB has a charity wing that rate and analyze financial statements of non-profits. The BBB site was interesting as it gives overhead rates. The guidestar is also interesting as it requires registration of the top paid executives and their pay.

Most Foundations require that these organizations be registered with a reputable rating agency.

I challenge BoJack readers to contact these agencies to find out how to enroll in these grant-funded services.

My family lobbied for the first Children's Initiative. I contacted the local After-School program which was funded very well to provide services to at-risk children, and at the time we more than qualified.

My child remained on the "waiting list" for four years while the children of employees and other cronies marched to the head of line. A staffer tried to explain that just because she and her husband had good incomes and multiple vehicles, their children should not be deprived of the enrichment services(free tutoring, mentoring, college admissions counseling) that this organization offered. And she also informed me that there was no chance that my child woud be allowed in, as they refered to have trackable cohort group. Of course, I know well-heeled folks who have entered anywhere along the cohort timeline. At one point, a classmate pointed my 7th grade child to someone who could get us in "the back door", we declined.

I am sure there are agencies that have done what they said they'd do with the Children's Initiative money, we'll just never know who those are.

"Do go bagging on Amy Ruiz; she's the best loved and most experienced member of Sam's team."

"PD" Which one of these definitions of "bagging" were you suggesting?

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bagging

I mean, if it's "for the children" I'll do any one of them........OK, maybe I should go to bed.

The kid's levy, like all Dan Saltzman's initiatives, has turned out to be a cluster-&*$k. No accountability, and this program has been going on for several years now. Now they decide to shop for some accountability, and lord-only-knows how many years and dollars THAT will take to implement. This program, like it's creator, is an idiotic waste of taxpayer dollars.


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