As a member of Madison's Community Services Committee, I sat at Monday night's meeting with a room full of people who were there supporting community service programs and organizations. They were proud people who provide and receive services.

The dozen or so of us committee members had to make funding decisions that will affect the future of these programs and services.

As a committee veteran, I knew I must deny many nonprofits support they desperately need to help our children and youth, families, seniors, community neighborhood centers and people affected by domestic violence.

Requests came in for nearly $11 million, while available funds are about $3.5 million. Add to that the mayoral request that we find an additional 6 percent in cuts. I must commend the administration for restoring funding in 2009 and even adding needed dollars for a one-year period. I will ask the city to restore funding and probably ask for more.

I wish I could reach into my pocket and fund every worthwhile organization, but I can't. My request is simple: Support your local community organizations with time and money. Remember, we are only as good as our community, and we have a great one in Madison.

I'll try to do my job, and I ask all Madisonians to do what they can to help.

- David Wandel, Madison

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