June 7, 2021
Mayor Stephen Gawron
Muskegon City Hall
933 Terrace Street
Re: Conflict of Interest: Community enCompass
Dear Mayor Gawron:
The City of Muskegon is considering entering into a contract with Bethany Housing Ministries d/b/a Community encompass (“Community enCompass”). As a City Commissioner for the City of Muskegon, the following letter is provided.
As you are aware, I am employed by Community encompass. More specifically, I am the Director of Homeless Services, which focuses solely on providing housing services and financial assistance to individuals who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, which includes eviction prevention services. I oversee 25 full-time and part-time employees and a budget of approximately$ 7.9 million, including the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance program.
It is my understanding that the City of Muskegon is seeking to enter into a contract with Community enCompass to help provide the City with seasonal staffing services. The City needs to hire 30-35 seasonal employees. The City currently has a contract with two temporary employment services, but they have been able to fill only 11 of those vacancies as of June 2, 2021. Community enCompass believes it will be able to fill 10-12 vacancies from its Youth Empowerment Program (YEP). The YEP Youth program provides early work experiences for children in low to moderate income households and provides educational opportunities promoting leadership skills. Approximately 21 high school youth are involved, with an anticipated budget of approximately $100,000.
I receive no direct benefit from the City funding this program. I have no involvement in the YEP Youth Program. The programs I oversee do not receive any monies from the YEP Youth Program. My salary will not change based upon whether the City of Muskegon funds or does not fund the YEP Youth Program.
I do not foresee any indirect benefit from the City funding this program. I have no knowledge as to whether any of the money proposed for this program would go towards general operating expenses of Community encompass. Further, it would be unlikely that anyone participating in one of my programs would also benefit from the YEP Youth Program.
I have had no involvement or discussions, either with City of Muskegon’s staff or Community enCompass’ staff, concerning this matter.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
Very truly yours,
C: Ann Meisch