Editorial – Budgeting Issues

What happens when revenues and expenses don’t match?

For the U.S. Congress, the path has been to borrow huge sums of money to be repaid at some time in the future, with the hope that an improving economy will enable the debt to be reduced without too much pain.

For the Commonwealth of Kentucky, it has been a painful standoff between the House and the Senate, both of which were determined to produce a budget without raising additional revenue, but with different perspectives on state debt. It took a compromise budget, proposed by Governor Steve Beshear and an expensive special legislative session to get them talking again.

This proposed budget cuts deeply into many core services the state provides. As Community went to press, the bill was making its way through both chambers with many members saying it’s not a good budget, but it’s better than having the state government shut down on July 1. Both the governor and the legislature are determined that this session will last no longer than the minimum mandate of five days to keep expenses – $63,000 per day – to a minimum.

For Metro Louisville, it has been a careful marshalling of funds, cuts wherever possible and negotiations between the Mayor and the Metro Council.

Your Jewish Community of Louisville (JCL) also is faced with an Annual Campaign that will not raise enough money to meet all community needs.

The JCL was created in May 2009 through the merger of the Jewish Community Federation and the Jewish Community Center. The new organization was faced with a number of one-time expenses related to the merger.

It also had to cope with an Annual Campaign that was significantly less than previous years. This was due in part to a firm cut-off date of July 31 for the 2009 Campaign, where in past years donations had been accepted through December. The sluggish economy also had an impact. There were also donors who wanted to wait and see how the new organization would take shape or were unhappy about some of what they saw.

The new JCL Board authorized significant funds to be taken from the community’s unrestricted endowment funds to cover first year expenses and to get the JCL up and functioning.

The Program Review Committee looked at what the community currently offers and its needs and made programming recommendations that the Strategic Directions Committee is currently examining, along with input from the Facilities Committee and the Finance Committee to make realistic recommendations for community priorities.

As detailed in the JCL Update, the Planning and Allocations Committee is beginning its work. It will start with the pressing issue of allocations for the 2010-11 fiscal year, and will continue to work year-’round so it can focus on the planning aspect of its charge.
The new President/CEO Stu Silberman has been hired and will start work by August 1. The new CFO Jamie Pillsbury and the new Community Relations Council director Matthew Goldberg have begun work, and a search is underway for a middle school director. There is positive momentum.

To date, 2010 Campaign has raised $2,070,965. This represents a 24 percent increase on the same pledges a year ago. There are however, many people who have not yet made their commitments, and the 2010 Campaign closing date is June 30.

The Planning and Allocations Committee must base its allocations recommendations on the dollars raised by the 2010 Annual Campaign. The final Campaign total that will determine what our community looks like in the coming year lies in your hands. Your generosity will determine what programs and services our Jewish Community of Louisville can provide. Your gifts to the Campaign will dictate how much support the community can provide our family of agencies – Jewish Family & Career Services and our Jewish educational programs. Your pledges will define our ability to fulfill our responsibilities to Jews at-risk in Israel and around the world.

Keep the momentum going, show your faith in our future and participate in realizing our community’s potential for our children and our children’s children. If you have not yet made your pledge to the JCL’s 2010 Annual Campaign, do so today. If you have already made your pledge, please consider an additional gift.

Call 451-8840; pledge online; or send your check to the Jewish Community of Louisville, 3630 Dutchmans Ln., Louisville, KY 40205.

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