March 16, 2013 3:01 pm
LAUDERDALE LAKES --
The Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency came under fire for funding the Arts Garage Thursday, the same day it celebrated one of its most important projects on West Atlantic Avenue in recent history – The Gateway Feature.
The allegations threaten not just the Arts Garage, but many other nonprofits the CRA funds: The Delray Beach Public Library, the Delray Beach Marketing Cooperative, the Spady Museum and the Delray Center for the Arts, formerly known as Old School Square.
In his letter, Franciosa said that the opinion by former state Atorney General Bill McCollum states that CRA expenditures must be connected to “brick and mortar” capital improvements. He also said that according to the opinion, CRA funds are not to be used to promote socially beneficial programs, as in the case of the Arts Garage, and that although programs by non-profit organizations have social benefits they are outside of the scope of the redevelopment agencies.
McCollum’s opinion, however, is not as black and white as Franciosa paints it. In his opinion, McCollum said that “to read the statute as precluding the promotion of a redeveloped area once the infrastructure has been completed would be narrowly viewing community redevelopment as a static process.”
“I cannot say that the use of community redevelopment funds would be so limited that the expenditure of funds for the promotion of a redeveloped area would be prohibited,” McCollum wrote.
Frank Schnidman, director of the Center for Urban Redevelopment Education at Florida Atlantic University, said that’s the key for many CRAs.
“Is it in the [redevelopment] plan?” he said. “You meet the statutory obligation of alleviation of blight by creating economic viability. If you’re putting feet on the streets, then you’re in effect under what’s permissible.”
“If you’re going to look for some sort of role model of whom does it right, the Delray Beach CRA would be it,” he said.
And on the other side of the coin, we opine, is the City of Gary Rogers. We believe the upcoming Legislative Auditing Committee sponsored audit of that L’ Lakes CRA will be interesting.
What was the benefit to the CRA for payments to Unifest, Gospel Fest, Kiwanis, Broward Black Elected Officials, and many others?
Fuck, Gospel Fest, not even a qualified non-profit, financially benefitted resident Gwen “I Will Try (and fail) To Sue The Shit Out Of You” Denton.
Univest – a
Hazelle Rogers $50,000 event.
The Unscholarships awarded (pun!) by the Broward Black Elected Officials (aka
levoyd william asshateus maximus).
And don’t overlook
barrington russell bar-louie and the Kiwanis.
Our buddies at Kessler International caught some of this during their mini-audit — and then were shut down, as they started to come too close to the real truth.
Those paying close attention to the details will remember the $13,000 in CRA cash transferred to the City for special events (added to the $2.5 million debt).
That money was never spent, and the according to the latest
marie elianor moroneconomics financial madlib, is still on the books.
The strength of MAOS comes from our community of ass-kicking, ball-busting activists. Please, chip in to help us expand the reach of our activist base by building the next generation media and organizing platform.
MAOS is a very costly and resource intensive operation. Our staff contributes hundreds of hours per month, digging into stories that other news sources find too difficult. We search for tales with "moral clarity." Our team strives to make our community a better place, for all that live here.
Contributions to MAOS are not tax deductible for federal income tax purposes. Donations are securely processed thru PayPal and will remain anonymous.
If you're reading, chances are we helped clean up your community. Now show your appreciation, or you'll go to hell.
We value your privacy and anonymity. We'll never disclose, share, or sell your information.
Portions may be copyright © 2013 Chaz Stevens. All rights reserved. MAOS is a sponsored blog.