Pat Romano

Photo courtesy of Pat Romano

Dear Editor,

My business partner Patricia Riestra-Peraita and I have been proud members of the Key Biscayne Rotary Club and the 4th of July Parade Committee for years. As such, we have worked closely with our wonderful Key Biscayne Community Foundation and have benefited from the essential fiscal sponsorship of the foundation.

The 4th of July Parade Committee works tireless for close to six months to prepare this iconic event in our Village. We host fundraisers such as the 4th of July BBQ, we sell commemorative T-Shirts and we seek private sponsors. But without the funding from the foundation all of this effort would be futile. There wouldn’t be a parade without the financial support we receive from the Village through the Foundation.

The same can be said about the Spring Fest at the Village Green previously known as the Key Biscayne Art Festival, another iconic event for the children and parents of our community hosted by the Key Biscayne Rotary Club with the financial support of the foundation and private sponsors.

There is nothing sinister or improper for a government to provide support to not-for-profit organizations. In fact these organizations also receive private donations and are considered absolutely essential by many governments to maximize the effectiveness of public funding of community programs and events. In addition, the foundations reduce the administrative expenses of government involvement in community affairs.

I really don’t know if it was ignorance or part of the agenda of a misinformation-spewing group in our Village that prompted Councilmember Segurola during the Village Council’s Budget Workshop to question the appropriateness of providing government funding to the Key Biscayne Community Foundation to sponsor events such as the 4th of July Parade, an event that celebrates the birth of our nation. Instead of attacking the funding of the foundation, Councilmember Segurola should be praising such funding and applauding the achievements of this institution.

In closing I would like to caution our Village Manager about scheduling budget workshops when the parties affected are not available to defend their institutions. Please do not patronize the negative agendas of a caustic and loud minority in the council.

--Patricia Romano