City commission identifies “buckets” for about $20 million in ARPA funds
BY JENNIFER CABRERA
At their December 6 Special Meeting, the Gainesville City Commission put about $20 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds into tentative buckets and asked staff to come back with specific plans on how to implement those priorities.
During the commission’s first discussion on allocating the funds, on October 19, commissioners voted to fund utility debt forgiveness at $250k, housing stabilization at $2.9 million ($1 million for eviction assistance + $1.9 million instead of the proposed $6 million for energy efficiency), and $7 million for nonprofits. The City has $32.4 million in ARPA funds plus $1.9 million in Housing and Urban Development funds to allocate, for a total of $34.3 million.
The first item on the December 6 agenda was approval of the issuance of a Request for Quote to hire an outside organization to vet and ultimately allocate the $7 million for non-profit organizations. That motion passed unanimously.
They next turned to placing the remaining funds into buckets that reflect their priorities for the money.
City staff recommended the hiring of a consultant to provide expert advice to staff on compliance and reporting. Commissioner Harvey Ward supported the idea, saying, “For folks who are not aware, there’s essentially a brand-new sub-industry of accounting that has popped up in the last few months, to be fully aware nationally of how this works and how the reporting is going to happen. And it’s a moving target; those guidelines continue to evolve. So we can put ourselves in a position of going out and hiring a new position or a series of new positions, more than likely, in that market, which is extremely competitive, and spend a whole lot more money to hire someone on full-time, to create these positions for something that’s going to go away in a few years, or we can repurpose someone or some people already on staff, stop what they are already doing, send them off to get a whole bunch of education to be able to do this correctly, and continue to keep them trained on that—or we can hire a person or a firm who is already doing this and outsource that for the period of time that is necessary.”
Commissioner David Arreola added, “And my understanding is that the President has another spending package for social programs coming right after that, so the reality is this is just a really special time in this country right now. The work being done in Washington, the bills being passed by this President, we have not seen for a long time.”
As he did in the October 19 meeting, Ward argued that commissioner priorities like gun violence and broadband should be “set aside… until we can have a meeting with a plan in front of us.” However, he wanted to add $1 million for a Community Land Trust.
Commissioner Adrian Hayes-Santos made a motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Reina Saco and divided into several parts:
- Approve replacement of $1,158,805 in revenue lost by the City during the pandemic. That passed unanimously.
- Approve funding of $2.25 million for an urgent care clinic on the east side of Gainesville. That passed 5-1 with Commissioner Desmon Duncan-Walker in dissent because she said she would like “to see UF partner with us a little bit differently.”
- Approve funding of $400,000 for homeless outreach coordinators. That passed unanimously.
- Approve funding of $300,000 for the City to purchase Personal Protective Equipment. That passed unanimously.
- Have the City Manager lead the ARPA process with support from the other charter officers; hire a consultant to help with the process; refer the next stage in a violence reduction plan to a General Policy Committee (GPC) meeting; receive quarterly updates on ARPA spending at GPC administrative sessions; set aside the rest of the funds and ask staff to come back with a plan at a meeting in late January or early February for the Community Resource Paramedic program for $1 million, broadband at $9.6 million, violence intervention/Youth Corps/arts intervention at $1 million, Vision Zero capital at $1.25 million, an east side mobility hub at $2 million, and a Community Land Trust at $1 million. That passed unanimously.
The funds allocated in the motion came to about $19.95 million, but only about $4.1 million was fully approved, adding to almost $10 million that was approved on October 19. The rest of the funds will be approved later, based on the plans presented by City staff.
I’m sure we’ll circle back to this. This could be fun.
Buckets? We should wonder which commissioner’s pocket a portion of this funding will filter down to? We all know they are very good at hiding their monetary appropriations and will go as far as firing employees who get too close.
I think the ones who should be questioned with the most scrutiny would be those with close relationships with certain “non-profit” groups. May want to also do a thorough investigation of those who could use the extra income themselves…those who recently “resigned” from a teaching position, attorneys who aren’t really practicing law, failed ride sharing drivers, and last but not least, a person who still counts on his mommy to pay his bills. Almost forgot, the commissioner who has multiple mirrors to see which person he needs to show in public on a certain day. That would be a good start before the state has to start funding their “pet” projects.
With all of these highly overpaid diversity/equity “officers” we have, they should be able to hire at least one competent CPA capable of working with GAAP and keeping meticulous books. I guess it’s obvious they must have gone out of their way NOT to do that.
Not a bit if finance experience up there. Poe falsely claimed to be an Economics Professor” LOL!- actually has a ba in history and taught history to HS kids in dual enrollment, including Eco 101 sometimes. no longer has the job but city bio still falsely claims he does!
hayes only foray was when he got volunteer post as finance rep for the career source board. quickly led them to bankruptcy in only a few months then refused to provide documents to state investigators. Nice! Used over $639,000 to help only 42 people) claims such as : po: “Economics Professor” LOL!- actually has a ba in history only and taught history to HS kids in dual enrollment, did teach one basic eco class once and thus claimed he was an “economics professor”, but no longer has the job or any other except the commission – city bio still claims this even though he’s out of a job!!! See below!
(Note:po has not yet achieved true victim status).
hayes: claimed to be a finance excec because of volunteer post as finance rep for the career source board that quickly went bankrupt only a few months after he signed on and failed/refused to provide documents to state investigators (over $639,000 to help only 42 people while he was there) linked to a conflict of interest and overspending.
Was linked to a conflict of interest and overspending. Hayes-S is the very last person we need handling funds of any kind!
Hayes-Santos seems to me like the guy who goes out to eat with a big group of people and says as everyone is headed outside…. “Oh! I left my keys on the table!” Then he runs back inside and steals the group tip off the table before the server can collect it. He seems really fixated on the GRU-run internet utility even though there is not a public outcry for such a thing. What is he planning to get out of it?
Hiding their fiscal incompetence and hiding their faces
With face masks…$300,000 for more personal protective
Equipment (face masks)? The worms have eaten into their brains…
Not included was paying down GRU’s massive debt, most of which is @ variable rate!
Great comment George…but it seems they want to
Intentionally force GRU into bankruptcy….maybe it’s
Part of the great reset and a future debt jubilee…
they’re all faking it, BadActorTribe living/selling UnitedNationsLie while vaxxing you to death with DepopulationPride (while PentagonCharmTeam chuckles inside)
Swamps…that’s the global plan..new world order,
Great reset, one world global totalitarianism…government, if it could, wants to be god.
Ignorant spendthrifts gleefully debating how to spend other people’s money. Toward the top is their list revenue, so they can be the only ones to have been made completely whole after Covid. What a joke. Not a word about their fiscal irresponsibility the state auditor just pointed out.
Reelection’s cannot get here soon enough. This crew has to go! They haven’t the financial intelligence of a 5th grader.
$300,000 for personal protection equipment (FACE MASKS)….can they at least make a provision that they
Must Be American made and not from communist China?
You do know that face masks & Vax are CCP protocol, right?
These city commissioners are so selfish and only
Thinking about themselves with the $300,000
For face masks…they should spend that $300,000
For vaccinations for providing Vax shots for the poor
People of color on the east side…they should practice
What they preach when it comes to equity…and Harvey
Ward, the gun violence is real! The east side should
Get $300,000 for social justice murals to fight black on
Black violence and gun crime…those social justice murals are “award winning” by the national league of cities or some other reputable organization…how about some
Social justice murals with 10,20, life? Isn’t jail time
A deterrent to crime?
$400,000 for homeless outreach? Ok. But will that
Keep the panhandlers out of the medians? How
About creating jobs for the homeless so they can
Take care of themselves…create a jobs program
That cleans up the city of trash & litter..”be a canhandler,
Not a panhandler”…change the city slogan for another
Mil to: “Gainesville, clean & green”…
Feel like being raped some more? Just heard these fiscally incompetent inbreds are wanting to team with those “neighbors” across the street to gang rape the taxpayers some more. Seeking to raise sales taxes another 1/2 cent because their 1/4 sized brains can’t manage the budget. Either that or they need to fill their “buckets” before they leave office.
Hope all you libertards stocked up on your Vaseline.
MLK sniper crew tries to fake budget you
Forget the Buckets, The COG needs to focus on their Biomass Sinkhole. Voted the worst contract in the Nation ever by a Utility. How could their recent Sate Audit results not move them from LaLa Land to reality?
GRU isn’t so much a utility as an extortion racket to fund pet political projects (like GRUcom broadband)
Funny while they’re filling their “buckets,” the less fortunate, impoverished, (because of the lying, cheating, thieves, sitting on the commission), residents of Gainesville who can barely afford a “bucket” to piss in, have to bear the burden of the city commission’s fiscal stupidity.
Waiting on some libertard to step in and defend their elected idiots.
Golden parachutes and campaign donation quid-pro-quo is more like it. More gov’t bureaucracy while the poverty industry thrives, and the general public victims suffer from China Virus-Brandon marriage from hell.
which police person is muzzled best? which police person is afraid to BigPharma confess about MassMurderVaxxineWarChest?
why would Mayor Poe be growing manboobs for Mayor Pete?
Commissioner David Arreola changed hairstyle ever week while growing more Agenda 2030 weak…