Dan is taking a holiday break, and so Mr. Crankypants is taking over this blog today.
Mr. Crankypants has learned a new term, and he’s just dying to share it with you. Carol, who is the partner of stupid alter ego Dan, has been talking about “grant vultures.” You may well ask what a “grant vulture” is, and Mr. Crankypants will tell you.
Apparently, there are people who come to open hearings and other meetings in New Bedford, even though they’re not residents of the city. Why do they come to these meetings when they live in other towns? Could it be that they are planning to move to New Bedford, and want to know how the political process works? Well, no, when you talk to them it becomes obvious that they have no desire to live in the city. Could it be that they are political process junkies, and there just aren’t enough open hearings and political meetings in their home towns, so they feel compelled to attend political meetings in nearby municipalities? Well, no, when you talk to them it becomes obvious that they do not participate in the political process in any meaningful way in their home town.
Could it be that they are hooping to tap into the grant money that comes to New Bedford? Could it be that they’re hoping to tap into funding to help support their own non-profit organizations (which, by the way, are generally based in the suburbs, and do not directly serve city residents)? For example, it could be that they hope to tap into some of the money that comes from the Environmental Protection Agency to help New Bedford harbor’s toxic waste problems. It could be that they are grant vultures — critters that hover around a city, hoping that some grant money stays still long enough that they can flap down and grab a piece, and then fly back with it to feed their own nestlings.
But Mr. Crankypants doesn’t believe that there are actual grant vultures out there. And Mr. Crankypants knows that most of the people in the non-profit world are not grant vultures, they have pure motives, and they really do serious work at facilitating the fair flow of grant money. Mr. Crankypants hopes that the grant vulture is just a mythical beast, like unicorns and dragons. And he hopes everyone in the non-profit world truly is pure of heart, with only the highest of motives.