Hospital says maybe to mentoring funding | NevadaAppeal.com

Hospital says maybe to mentoring funding

Amanda Hammon

A group trying to bring a mentoring program to Carson City has run into a roadblock.

Community members spearheaded by the The Mentoring 2000 Task Force of the Carson City and Douglas County Leadership Alumni asked Carson-Tahoe Hospital trustees for $30,000 to help start the mentoring program.

The hospital’s finance committee approved the request, but the four trustees present at a meeting Thursday deadlocked on the vote. The issue will return for consideration Jan. 13 with the complete six-member board.

Trustee Paul Saucedo said while he supports any attempt to help youth, he didn’t feel he had enough initial information to support the program.

“Everything didn’t fall into place for me,” Saucedo said. “I’m not concerned over $15,000, but tell me how it’s going to work, who’s going to be in charge, how it’s organized. Give me facts.”

Saucedo was also concerned about a duplication of services, saying there may be other agencies in town that offer similar services.

“I know (mentoring supporters’) hearts are in the right place,” Saucedo said. “Help me understand it so I know this is a great thing and not a fly-by-night idea.”

Ron Kendall, chairman of the Mentoring 2000 Task Force, said he would work on making sure hospital trustees understood where the program was heading and how it could benefit the hospital.

“We came away with a win because we had full approval of the finance committee,” Kendall said. “But if any of the trustees have questions, we want to make sure we answer all of them.”

The mentoring group will have another chance at finding some of the $150,000 start-up money Tuesday.

The Carson City School Board of Trustees will hear from the group, which is asking the hospital and school boards along with the city and Western Nevada Community College to help pick up the start-up costs.

School board trustees say while the idea is a good one, they have some questions that will need to be answered before they can decide if the mentoring program can compete with other needs for funding.

School board trustee John McKenna said he thinks the mentoring program could fill a gap with at-risk Carson children.

“I know that mentoring has worked in Reno and around the country,” McKenna said. “I have to hear the proposal before I know if its a good idea or not.

“Does it duplicate services? I’d like that question answered. We want to make sure we get $30,000 worth of services. We fund the things that have the biggest effect on student learning. At least, that’s my criteria, and I’m not going to make a decision until I hear the facts. I hope it’s a good program, and we’ll see what they have to say.”

School board trustee Norm Scoggin said he didn’t doubt it would be a good program for the community but worried about the school board being able to afford the request.

“If we could afford it, it would be a fine thing for the community,” Scoggin said. “We need to make sure there’s no adverse effects and see if the money couldn’t be spent somewhere else, like in the classroom. That has to come first in everything we do.”

Mentoring supporters hope to have a community mentoring resource center in operation by March or April. It would offer a one-on-one mentor to needy students. Kendall said while the downfall of mentoring programs is finding mentors, he already has a firm commitment from 25 people and the support of various community agencies. The group started in October looking for community support. The mentoring program has already received some funding. The Community Council on Youth received a grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in October for $90,400. About $45,000 is earmarked for a mentoring program.

If you go:

What: Carson City School Board of Trustees meeting

When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.

Where: the Community Center’s Sierra Room, 851 E. William St.