Council committee approves CDBG grant, balks at its administration
Posted in the Fitchburg Forum
#1 Mar 23, 2011
Council committee approves CDBG grant, balks at its administration
By Jack Minch, [email protected] om
Posted: 03/23/2011 06:37:50 AM EDT
FITCHBURG -- The City Council's Committee of the Council as a Whole voted to recommend approval of Mayor Lisa Wong's proposal to spend $950,874 of Community Development Block Grant funding but voted against spending $275,000 for administration and planning.
Councilors said the administration of the grant is too vague amid an ongoing reorganization in City Hall.
The administrative staff used to be in one office but is now spread among various town departments.
"Won't we look like fools if we voted this in and don't know who is going to administer this money," said Ward 3 Councilor Joel Kaddy.
An initial vote to accept the entire package failed, 6-4.
Councilor-at-Large Thomas Conry opposed reconsideration, then joined with Councilor-at-Large Dean Tran in voting against the revised spending recommendation.
Wong said oversight of the community development grant administration will be under her jurisdiction until the city hires a deputy auditor.
The deputy auditor will track the paperwork involved in administering the grant, Wong said.
"So that we can have checks and balances for where that money is coming from and going," she said.
The Public Works Department, which performs most of the tasks funded by the block grant, will have oversight of spending money, Wong said.
Under the category of community services, councilors debated the merits of reducing funding for the Boys & Girls Club of North Central Massachusetts
and the Cleghorn Neighborhood Center in order to increase funding for police foot patrols downtown.
Wong said she already reduced Cleghorn's funding request from $271,000 to $265,000 to help support other programs such as the foot patrol, which had not been funded in recent years, and opposed further cuts.
"We don't want to cut the legs out from underneath our biggest and most successful neighborhood organization that is trying to expand to other neighborhoods," Wong said.
Donata Martin, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club, said about half of the block-grant funding she gets is used for busing students from city schools to the club.
About 90 students use the club daily, she said.
Ward 6 Councilor Jody Joseph argued the Police Department should find the $5,000 for foot patrols from its $6 million annual budget.
"We're barking up the wrong tree," he said.
The block-grant funding includes $123,874.19 to continue razing abandoned buildings in the city.
Conry praised Larry Casassa, deputy director of the Community Development Department, for his work in clearing the city of blighted buildings in the past year.
"I think it goes a long way to clean up our city," Conry said.
There is about $150,000 left from the last funding to add to the block-grant funding, Casassa said.
Read more: http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/local/ci...
#2 Mar 23, 2011
Isn't this CDBG grant money suppose to go towards small business development? I had applied for this funding in the past year and was denied. I was told that my business plan was the best they have ever seen and that the idea itself was promising but they couldn't approve of funding due to the fact that my name was not on a property interests.
Now it is stated that there is $150,000 left from last years funding? I had written a letter to the Mayor a few months back in reference to Job creation efforts inside of Fitchburg. She replied that she is concerned with the creation of 1-3 man businesses as she feels that the day of big corporation employment are over. Well I guess Mayor that you also believe in not lending this money out to small businesses neither!
This article mentions the fact that they are looking for that extra money again for foot patrols on Main street. I wrote the Mayors' assistant last night in reference to these funds from the past. I mentioned to him that I felt that the previous allotments of tens of thousands that was put aside for this purpose never seen extra patrols on Main street. I also inquired to the possibility that this account was one of the accounts that tasca was funneling money out of!
Enough is Enough! I also commended the Mayors' assistant on his work in regards to the tearing down of the vacant houses that were dilapidated. I believe that this money was well spent.
At a time when banks are not lending a dime to small businesses this city decides to utilize all the CDBG monies for other programs? Mayor I thought you were into Job creation efforts.
Again I promote the need for Jobs as it will create increases in tax revenue as well as increasing of local consumer spending !
This is one reason that I decided to run for Mayor in an attempt to bring these issues onto the table. Mayor, Enough words and promises!! We need action!
As I have stated I will enact change that you will be able to see and touch as a reality. City Hall gets an F grade on this one!
#3 Mar 23, 2011
S~O~M~E~O~N~E gets an F for failing to change their screen name prior to his usual rants against the Mayor!
#4 Mar 23, 2011
and we learn another alias.
#5 Mar 23, 2011
For the record, the response written under Fitchburg resident is Lynch for Mayor!
If there is ONE person out here that doesn't hide behind a screen name it is Kevin Lynch. I don't think that Kevin Lynch is afraid of admitting to a comment posted out here unlike yourself and many others!! LMAO
#7 Mar 23, 2011
My real name is Homer and I don't, unlike unstable people, refer to myself in the third person either!
Is there a psychiatric test to take for Mayor?
#8 Mar 23, 2011
Your parents really named you Homer? Bot, they didn't even like you when you were an innocent baby!
#9 Mar 24, 2011
Soooo, you need psychiatric help for your issues and you're also mean?!!?
Wow, you'd make a good.....well, anything but Mayor! How about research subject???!
#10 Mar 24, 2011
Lynch, you DO know these comments are public and permanent? You can't afford to lose a single supporter at this point, yet you can't help yourself. Say what you want about Mayor Wong's policies - she has never stooped to name calling, especially at someone's NAME. And she would never post on a lunatic forum like this one. haha.
#11 Mar 24, 2011
I believe that she has posted on this forum. And I agree, I shouldn't be making fun of Homers' name; I am sorry Homer Simpson!
It is very evident that those who post on here tend to support Solomito, Kaddy and the like.
As I mentioned I am running as an independent. My political views usually align with Democrats but I do have conservative views of something's also. I am the candidate of the people for the people!
I enjoy interacting on this blog, I enjoy watching Fox news so that I can listen to the other side. It gives me a view of what they stand for and it gives me a chance to counter them views with logic and fairness!
#12 Mar 24, 2011
Every time you post you open up a new can of crazy. Not only does Mayor Wong not post on here, but she doesn't read these comments. She doesn't answer to a half dozen anonymous posters. It would be to no advantage to her to do so. You might take a cue from her and from Joe and get busy building your website, and enumerating your platform at both the tactical and strategic levels. And get your ducks in a row to raise money and prepare for the debates. You'd do better staying away from this forum if you are serious about running. Real campaigns are for grown-ups. Act like one.
#13 Mar 24, 2011
What are some of your conservative beliefs?
#14 Mar 24, 2011
For one I know for fact that she use to blog on the forum. For another I am not running as a politician; I am a candidate of the people for the people! Mayor Wong told us that the days of the same old are all done. She tells all the citizens of Fitchburg that Captain Tasca stole money and then she reinstates him!
Solomito talks about pot holes and library hours! This is as he sits on the city council and does nothing about it! They are both the same politicians just a different face.
Let me tell you that the only way that I can lose this race is if the citizens do not register to vote. I understand that this forum is filled with Solomitos friends.
I open up a can of crazy because it is crazy what has been going on for years in this city! Fitchburg doesn't need anymore politicians; we need people like myself who will stand up to Unitil instead of patting them on the bum!!
The CDBG is a big deal. I am actually surprised that only $5,000 was requested this time for extra patrols on main st. The last time the Mayor requested $70,000 and it actually may have been the account from which Tasca funneled of the money out of illegally!!
Take the $5,000 give it to me and I will fill in every f ing pot hole in Fitchburg! I believe that the people have had enough of this BS! So maybe I am crazy, maybe that is what this city needs instead of everyone polishing each others accounts with money and favors!
The weather is breaking, you will see me on every street in Fitchburg!! And Mayor, how about using the CDBG funds for small business creation?
This has been quite the political day. From Lowell to Boston they have been catching board members at Yacht clubs and the like instead of at work. With salaries from $90,000 to $149,000.
The only things that Fitchburg citizens have seen change is their Gas rate, electric rate,water and sewer and property taxes as they have all INCREASED! Oh, yea all while the lights were off!
Now they are utilizing this CDBG money for everything but Job growth. This at a time when Fitchburg has an unemployment rate of over 12% with other estimates of over 25% when you include those whose benefits have expired!
Then there is the Solomito crowd who are complaining that their are too much social program funding in Fitchburg. Then they want to criticize the low income group in Fitchburg. Screw these self righteous porpoises! One guy even threatened me physically to a dual down at JRs as he stated the cops will cover it up! Nice group!?
#15 Mar 24, 2011
My conservative beliefs come with solutions to fix things instead of the typical finger pointing. I have proposed a transition program that transitions people off of government stipends and into paying jobs. To add to this proposal of course we need to create jobs so that they will be available.
This is where I see the Fitchburg Connector idea helpful as well as the commuter rail and the other rail lines in Fitchburg. We need to bring back some manufacturing jobs. There needs to be a national effort in this regard but in the meantime Fitchburg should be positioning itself to accommodate businesses.
I feel that this idea is truly conservative as it decreases the need for government spending and increases tax revenue at the same time.
The conservatives get nowhere because they are terrified to pass any legislation that would decrease the almighty dividend checks that their supporters and investors utilize to fill in their campaign coffers!
The conservative approach government spending like , ok cut out food stamps, ssi, welfare, health care for the poor and all other social program spending! I always want to ask them, then what? It is like they are not aware that American corporations outsourced ALL American jobs oversees!
I am not saying that Democrats are much better. The greatest dig that I have heard of in recent days came at the St. Patricks' day breakfast when they gave Governor Patrick an Evergreen solar baseball cap that read "Made in China"!
This is part of the big problem; the state gives Evergreen 60 Million dollars and a $1 a year lease payment for 30 years!!! Can you just imagine the amount of investment dollars and loans that Evergreen must of received after reading Evergreens business plan that entail this incredible lease payment alone??? I wrote the governor and the Attorney General and stated that they should sue Evergreen to the point of submission! At least for 180 Million. And I suggested that they take that reward and fund small AMERICAN businesses!!! Or build a connector in Fitchburg, after all a connector will not be outsourced oversees!!
The Governor should resign for this debacle! And bring the Lt. Governor with him!
#16 Mar 25, 2011
You don't get a connector without a very large handout from the Federal government.
How very Democratic of you.
#17 Mar 25, 2011
I agree that the city of Fitchburg would have to file for Federal and State grant monies to achieve such a project. Let me ask you , how do you think RT 2 was paved? I understand that horse and buggy took almost the same route into Boston but RT 2 and all roads and bridges had needed funding at some point!
The point that I was making is that the 60 million that the state earmarked to Evergreen could of been better spent on a Fitchburg connector!
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