Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Which language didn't make the cut?

From tonight's Metro Nashville Council agenda we learn they'll be voting on accepting a grant from Homeland Security:

"...to establish a fire prevention and awareness program to reduce injuries and fatalities." RS2009-624
Sounds reasonable, however, it isn't until you read the analysis that we learn:
"RESOLUTION NO. RS2009-624 (CM Jim Forkum (District 9-Madison) ) – This resolution approves an amendment to a grant in the amount of $128,132 from the U.S. department of homeland security to the Metropolitan Nashville fire department for the fire prevention and awareness program. These funds are used to teach the fire department personnel about the various cultures in Nashville and their fire prevention knowledge, as well as to promote the fire safety campaign in the 22 predominant languages in Nashville. There is a required local match of $32,033 to be provided through the fire department’s operating budget.(emphasis added)

This resolution approves an amendment to the scope of work for the grant to allow for the use of an outside agency to meet the objectives of the multicultural educational training program. "

22 predominant languages! I'm sure our current progressive Metro Council will say it's essential to the core mission of saving lives that these fire fighters learn about other cultures and translate their safety materials into 22 languages. On the heels of the English First legislation this Metro Council will happily prove their ability to welcome a diverse population and vote yes. Not one of them will endanger a penny of Federal money by daring to question the need for all 22 languages, ask exactly how many speakers in each language there are, question the actual fire danger or loss of life there has been in these language groups and what the real rate of return on these dollars and manpower hours there will be.

What I know about Federal grant 'carrots' is that once the program is begun the Feds will drop the funding AND people will still demand that the service remain meaning the locals will have to pick up the funding in it's entirety in no time at all.

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