Citizens District Council Minutes 04-14-2011

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Citizen’s District Council Meeting
City of Muskegon CDBG
Conference Room 203
Muskegon, Michigan
Thursday April 14, 2011


The meeting was called to order by Pat Montney at 5:40 p.m.


Roll call was taken by Liz Parker.

Present:             Rasheedah Gillespie-Muhammad, Virgie Jackson, Patricia
                     Montney, Thomas Pastoor, Addie Sanders-Randall, Amy Varnado,
                     Stephen Gawron
Excused:             Stephanie Marion
Absent:              Ned Carter
Staff Present:       Oneata Bailey, Liz Parker

Amy Varnado made a motion to approve the minutes from the March 1 and March 10,
2011 meetings. Tom Pastoor seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

        Five-year Consolidated Plan Discussion
Pat Montney started by asking about jobs and the number of people hired. Youth jobs
would be temporary jobs and training. It was suggested to contact Downtown
Development and see how many jobs Baker College Culinary School has brought in
and include it in the plan. Tom Pastoor asked what the strategy was for getting
employment. Oneata explained this is the general strategy and the annual Action Plan
will have details.

There was discussion on infrastructure. Oneata Bailey said there would be a
spreadsheet attached from the Engineering department listing their plans for the next
five years.

Pat Montney said goals for demos, board ups, rental rehabs, vinyl siding, emergency
repair, etc. for the next five years need to be separated and not added together in the
Plan so the citizens and HUD can clearly see the City is doing what it said it would do.
She said the City should ‘toot its horn.’

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Tom Pastoor said there was no mention of investing in people, only of investing in new
houses. Amy Varnado stated that what Tom is looking for not going to come from the
City’s and that he would probably have to go outside the City government for funding for
investment in people and leadership.

Addie Sanders-Randall said some neighborhoods are becoming more transient that you
don’t get to know your neighbors. Oneata Bailey stated that’s where neighborhood
stabilization is very important as they take these empty houses, rehab them and sell as
owner-occupied single-family homes and helps the neighborhoods. Rasheedah
Gillespie-Muhammad said by investing in houses you are investing in people because
when you have a nice decent place to live, things are much better and these people
contribute to the neighborhood.

Oneata Bailey explained this Plan is the bones of what will be done over the next five
years and each annual Action Plan is the meat. Neighborhood Stabilization is the bone.
Neighborhood Leadership can be the meat, especially if the neighborhood associations
can come up with a viable plan to submit over. Steve Gawron said the neighborhoods
could be part of public assistance, such as some are doing now with grants for youth
recreation. He suggested the Community Foundation might be a source of funding for
neighborhood programs. Tom would like to see a goal within neighborhood stabilization
for further development of leadership. Oneata said that could be added in an Action
Plan: this is what the City is doing and this is what the neighborhood associations are
going to do as something new to stabilize the neighborhoods.

Tom said there are people outside Muskegon who have lost their homes. It would be
great to get them into the City of Muskegon who wants to take care of their homes and
neighborhoods. Tom would like to know if there is a way to get them into the City of
Muskegon in foreclosed homes that they can currently get at a greatly reduced rate.
Rasheedah said that was good idea as long as it doesn’t look like gentrification (the
process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent
people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents). If that happens
we will be looking at this again in another 25 years. We shouldn’t hold on to the old
adages of gentrification that drive people out. This is not what Muskegon is about.

Oneata Bailey stated that we don’t want to miss particular things we should say now in
this Plan and then try to get them in later. Steve Gawron said the CDC is the public
participation.  Oneata hopes in the future to have public meetings and visit
neighborhood association meetings.

There was discussion regarding some of the services provided by CNS with CDBG
funds and the group felt the services should no longer be with ‘no personal investment’
(for free), but should come with some sort of fee, sliding fee scale, community/in kind
service, etc. Oneata stated going forward this can be looked at and it can be added to
the Plan that this will be reviewed. HUD lets the City do what they want in relation to
charging for services. Steve Gawron didn’t think the Commission had to review this as
it is a stand alone item.

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Comments from the group regarding leadership, investing in the people and charging
for CNS CDBG programs will be in the Five-year Consolidated Plan.


       Action Plan 2011 - 2012
Oneata Bailey explained the 2011 – 2012 Action Plan will be given to the CDC prior to
the next meeting so it can be discussed at the May meeting.

        Change of Fiscal Year to July 1 – June 30
Oneata Bailey stated the current fiscal year will change from June 1 – May 31 to July 1
– June 30. This will coincide with the City’s fiscal year and help CNS with year end and
financial reports. Pat Montney made the motion to agree with the change of the fiscal
year. Tom Pastoor seconded. Motioned passed unanimously.


Rasheedah Gillespie-Muhammad advised the group she will no longer be able to sit on
the CDC board as she has moved out of the City. She will be submitting her

        Next CDC Meeting
Since there is an election on May 3, the next CDC meeting will be held on Monday, May
2, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. in Conference Room 203.


Pat Montney adjourned the meeting at 7:50 p.m.

Respectively submitted,

Liz Parker
Community and Neighborhood Services
City of Muskegon

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