Lorlee Bartos begs to differ with a post by Michael Davis yesterday re the mayor’s opposition to using federal funds for so-called bricks-and-mortar projects, an option favored by several southern sector councilmembers. On the jump is her response to me, and the other Davis, and also an earlier statement that elaborates her position more, if you’re interested. Plus assorted asnides. Actually, she makes good points about the housing funding.
Also, she wants me to stop picking on the mayor. Hey, HH won’t even return phone calls and responds to FrontBurner posts by emailing the folks at Unfair Park. But I digress. Back to Bartos in the jump:
“Not funding this project because another one failed years ago is ludicrous. Southern Skates has NOTHING to do with this project. That was a roller rink, this is job training and business consulting entity with a proven group.”–Michael Davis
It has everything to do with it, but I guess it is more convenient for you to continue in your whatever it is against the Mayor. The poster that you quoted above has no institutional memory and is a short termer. It takes a couple of years to really get the hang of what the heck is going on.
Southern skates was just one of the things that went bad. All sorts of pork — and that is what it was, no way to sugarcoat it. There were others and funding bricks and mortar is a bad use of CD funds and the Council recognized that by passing a resolution years ago to stop that, so actually, funding this was the exeception, not the norm.
So for your further education, I send you what I sent you yesterday….. — ah but then, it is sexier to just keep blaming the mayor. [and full disclosure, I have no feelings one way or the other about the Mayor, but do have strong feelings about appropriate use of money] And if this guy was so solvent and wonderful, find it in the private sector. If he wants to be a BAC, his goal should be job training and business assistance, not funding a building. Each BAC only gets about $80,000 for program funds each year — so think how much more assistance could have been provided.
I served on the CDC for 8 years — retiring in January.
When I first was on the board, the policy was to fund bricks and mortar — I agree with the Mayor — and did agree then — that is was a bad policy for all of the reasons she listed in her message and more.
The Commission ended up funding buildings and we would be overrun with applications from groups with no fiscal plans, no track records, etc. But because it was pork for some Councilman they would get passed.
The Council did pass that resolution and things got a whole lot easier. CDC does fund about 5 or 6 BACs with dollars for operation (about $80,000 per year when I was last there)
However, I disagree with the Mayor on the use of those dollars to repair City Buildings. That is the City’s responsility.
CDC funds are intended to build communities — my view is that you do that mainly through housing and jobs. The funds are intended to provide an extra boost — not used to maintain what the City should already maintain.
Also, since the City provides none of its own dollars for housing programs, I always felt that they should at least be providing the dollars to fund the staff to administer the programs.
And if you really want to get me started — ask me about the $30M of CDC dollars that were used to fund downtown housing. I don’t object to downtown housing — just that it shouldn’t have been funded on the backs of poor people. I objected long and loud to the Council –to the media — to anyone who would listen. But then I was trying to defend that group of people with no voice and no one wants to hear.