How Ashby Spends Money In District 1

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz
When a recent “You Asked, We Got The Answer” article drew criticism about how discretionary funds are used in District One, THE NATOMAS BUZZ made a public records act request for the financials from city Councilwoman Angelique Ashby’s office.
At issue: whether the decision to discontinue the annual Celebrate Natomas event historically held in South Natomas was made in favor of North Natomas programs. According to budget documents, $193,000 was allocated for Celebrate Natomas in 2009.
District One specific funds has included income generated by one wireless tower in South Natomas, one digital billboard off Richards Boulevard along with some discretionary money from the city’s coffers – about $55,000.
The discretionary fund for the 2010-11 fiscal year had already been depleted and the District One labor budget overspent when Ashby took office on Nov. 23, 2010, said Michelle Kille, Director of Public Policy for District One. Then city manager Gus Vina partially restored the fund for Ashby. But when the city council decided to funnel wireless tower and digital billboard income back into the General Fund – 60 percent of District One’s discretionary money went, too.
Instead of hosting Celebrate Natomas, Ashby decided to spend money in District One.
Documents provided by Ashby’s office show District One has spent $28,528.57 between Nov. 23, 2010 and today. The expenditures include donations to community organizations, youth athletics, events and more in Natomas, the River District, downtown Sacramento, and Gardenland-Northgate.
We receive hundreds of donation requests a week,” Kille said. “Some are done in partnership with other council members.”
The single, largest expenditure was on the Summer Oasis day camp program which had been cut from the city’s Parks and Recreation Department budget.
She had heard that from constituents there was a lot of need and asked if she could help out and sponsor a summer camp,” said Dave Mitchell, operations manager for city parks and recreation.
Mitchell said Regency Park was selected for the Oasis Program because previous summer day camps at that location had reported the highest attendance in the area. Ashby’s office donated $8,000 to pay for the camp and sought a donation from Allegheny Properties to help cover the rest. Registration for the Oasis Program, which had 140 participants, was open to the public, Mitchell said.
A parks and recreation summer camp was also held at the South Natomas Community Center.
Said Mitchell, “Our South Natomas program topped out at about 80 kids.”

Celebrate Natomas Budget
District One Community Donations Table

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