Funding Must Be Systematic
The article “Trickle-Down Funding”(February 2004 issue, page 22) contains a serious misstatement of fact. Writer Beth Wade states that states may keep up to 20 percent of the Homeland Security grant funds for “administrative costs.” This is not true. States may use up to 20 percent of the funds for state first responder-eligible costs (state police, regional HAZMAT teams, etc.) not for administrative costs. Like most federal grant programs, administrative costs are capped at 3-5 percent.
The entire tenor of her article suggested that the most important criteria was how much money got into the hands of cities and how fast. This is a much more complicated issue than the article seemed to indicate. It was very biased and, except for one individual from DHS, contained only quotes from city officials. Perhaps she would have had a more accurate picture of the situation had she talked to state and county officials who are working to create a more systematic, comprehensive and accountable approach to this very complex problem.
MICHAEL D. SELVES, Director, Johnson County, Kan., Emergency Management and Homeland Security
We welcome your comments and opinions. Please send your comments and letters to editor Larry Anderson at email@example.com