Thursday, November 15, 2007

Format

I changed the way my blog looks and now I dont cringe everytime I look at it. Success.

Tonight the Task Force will be reviewing RFPs in public. We have never really had people come to our meetings, although they are open to the public. I have never felt pressure from any applicant before this money came under our watchful eye. In the CDBG process (federal money targeted to particular neighborhoods and activities), we are the experts on the applications, but it does have to go through the Planning Commission and Council for approval. Admittedly these expenditures are typically rubber-stamped. The primary reason for the rubber-stamping is the priorities are set early by Council, then we follow the priorities and the federal regulations on the CDBG funds.

This money is different- this is City affordable housing money, with definite priorities. However, the funding is limited and its not clear the money will be available to these same organizations on an ongoing basis (the City has a commitment to at least three years, maybe five years). The task force (I dont speak for them all) acutely see this as 'our' taxpayer money to be spent exceptionally carefully to most effectively combat the affordable housing problems in our City.

I always say the CDBG task force is the best board in the City. The board is diverse on many different levels, thoughtful, engaged, respectful, and unapologetic in its critiques of these RFPs. I understand Council may override all the decisions we make in this RFP process. I look forward to this layer of transparency on the process for the community to see not only our hard work, but the wonderful organizations in our City trying to make a difference.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like the new format!-Joe