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Lighthouse Program Could Go Dark

May 10th, 2017 · 14 Comments · City Budget, Education, News and Events

Lighthouse program

CT Post Photo Linda Conner Lambeck.

From Linda Conner Lambeck, CT Post:

Some 2,800 city children will be without a day camp program this summer unless a stalemate between the city and school board is resolved by Monday.

The school board and city-run Lighthouse program have been at odds this entire school year over a $500,000 rental fee the board has levied against the after school and summer program for use of 24 city school buildings. The city refuses to pay.

If they don’t by May 15, the program will be locked out schools on June 30, just as Lighthouse’s five-week summer session is set to start.

Full story here.

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14 Comments so far ↓

  • Ron Mackey

    Pay me Now or Pay me Later; Pay Me you will!

    https://youtu.be/Ij1yDpfZI8Q

  • Bob Walsh

    What good for the goose is good for the gander, whatever that’s supposed to mean.
    Or robbin’ Peter to pay Paul.
    But the BOE had better stay firm on this one or they lose all credibility

  • Bob Walsh

    Lights out on the Lighthouse!!!

  • Maria Pereira

    We assessed a $500,000 fee for the Lighthouse Program after public facilities presented a cost analysis demonstrating if they paid us every dollar owed for rental, utilities, custodial, supplies, etc,, they would have to pay $3.5 million.

    Since that decision, we have now discovered that our Nutrition Center has been providing their after school snack at a LOSS of over $160,000 per year.

    In addition, Lighthouse uses 18 of our schools, most airconditioned, to house its six week summer program. We provide breakfast & lunch and break close to even, however these programs are generating the vast majority of refuse, yet the City is charging us to pick-up their city program’s trash.

    In addition, the vast majority of WPCA and Aquarium costs are being generated by this program, yet the Lighthouse has never paid $1 towards these costs.

    Lighthouse started in 10 schools in 1993, it is now in 23 schools 42 weeks per year, and runs fullday summer programs in 18 schools for 6 weeks each summer.

    $500,000 must be paid by Monday or the Lighthouse must vacate our buildings by June 30th.

    This is called “accountability” Ms. Walker.

  • Mojo

    Have every parent that uses the program make a donation and have the program do a fund raiser for starts. Afterward if they get lucky and find the money somewhere, they can continue to beg, borrow or steal, no ?

    • Maria Pereira

      Parents pay for their participation based on a sliding scale. Tammy Pappa collects about $890,000 per year in parent fees.

      If you look at the City Budget online, you will see that this revenue is NOT accounted for in the budget at all.

  • John Marshall Lee

    For several years I have raised a cry that Bridgeport parents and families supply $850,000 in registration and program fees to Lighthouse (according to their own reports) but that revenue does not show in the annual department budget, including FY2018. I ask the question why, and do not get an answer. In addition Lighthouse receives more than $2 Million from State grants, but the City does not bother to provide open, accountable and transparent revenue information to taxpayers. Can that be considered honest at this time?
    It is wake up time for Mayor Ganim to provide some leadership in this area inasmuch as most youth will not have the opportunity for vacation travel that he currently enjoys. What is his responsibility as a leader? He controls the budget items submitted to the Council that provides the Council members with a warm feeling for finding $3.1 Million more than what the Mayor did. But the real question is what has been done by both Finch and Ganim administrations to City commitment (other than building new schools and repairing old ones) to OPERATE schools with sufficient staff to promote education of all students in a secure place? Time will tell.

    • Ron Mackey

      JML, what are your two City Council members saying?

      • John Marshall Lee

        Ron,
        I have asked them the question specifically recently as well as generally in my Council statements. What have you asked your two Council persons on the same subject? Assuming that you would not ask me to do something you have not already dealt with? And the answer from the South End is? Time will tell.

        • Ron Mackey

          JML, I’m asking you if you have spoken to your two City Council members specifically away from the other City Council members?

          • John Marshall Lee

            Attempted comunication with each away from a Council meeting. Partial conversation but no reason provided for why $850,000 or more is kept hidden by (WHO?) that comes from parents and families each season, and ignored by City Council when they fund.
            Now, what is the word from Jack and Denese, please? Time will tell.

  • Tom White

    JML has shared his observations of Lighthouse funding with the city council for years. Have they sought clarity? Why bother. They just go on more junkets.

    Maybe they can cut police overtime more. BRILLIANT!

  • Bob Walsh

    Maybe they can give up their stipend for openers.
    Or at least explain to the parents and kids in the Lighthouse program that THEIR travel and benefit are a necessity while the Lighthouse is a nicety.
    That would explain a lot.

    • John Marshall Lee

      Bob,
      That is a reasonable request that should be considered when cutting budgets. The Council has taken no knife to their expenditures where they could do so every year. Stipends have not been spent fully for years, and when they are spent fully to attend conferences 3-4 times per year because they have been elevated to positions within the conferences,why should taxpayers of Bridgeport care? We are not benefiting from cutting edge ideas and best practices. Legislators also have an Other Services account that could be cut by $50,000 today with doing no harm to the Council but help for the taxpayer. Lots of those opportunities in the budget. Why? Time will tell.

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