"Let's see how much better we can do today," said Montgomery County Council President John L. Menke with a grin as the council for the third time took up the issue of funding to extend the Youth Outreach program from a summer project to a year round one.
This week they did fare better. By a six-to-one vote, the council voted to appropriate $131,500 to pay for eight Outreach workers throughout the year and for equipment. They also appropriated $70,000 for the five private youth organizations in the county.
"It's all right," commented Charles Steinbraker, director of the Outreach program, which tries to channel troubled youths into more productive activities. September and his advocate, county executive James P. Gleason, had asked for $243,840 to fund 14 workers plus equipment and supplies.
The orginal amount provoked controversy when the five private youth organizations said it was much higher than the aid they received from the county government. In the last three weeks, council members have been unable to propose any funding plan that brought the five votes necessary to pass emergency legislation.
In explaining why he voted against this week's proposal, which was suggested by council member Norman Christeller and amended by member Neal Potter, Menke said, "We have now improved a program in the face of the needs of the elderly, the handicapped, and others. I have not had a basis for making this decision which will end up costing a third of a million dollars annually.
Council member Elizabeth Scull said later that she was pleased with the funding but that she wished the council could have appropriated less money in light of an upcoming series of public hearings on youth in the county.
"It seems a little tlat to ask the community how they feel about youth prorams after we've given out the money," Scull said.