LETTER: Telling Mayor Spicer No For Grant Funds Likely Reason I Was Not Re-Appointed to Community Development Committee

FRAMINGHAM – I wanted to take a moment to state how thankful I am for being able to serve on Framingham’s Community Development Committee for three years. This committee works with the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that funds activities with the goal of providing affordable housing, anti-poverty programs, and infrastructure development.

Through the application process and meetings over the years, I’ve met many hard working and genuine people. From the start-ups, to firmly established programs and I’ve gained a heart-filled appreciation for what these nonprofit programs are committed to accomplishing. All focused on fulfilling specific needs within our community.

There has been speculation that my being a Republican was a factor in me not being reappointed. I certainly hope not and do not believe that this is the case. I have assisted with many campaigns over the last few years. I make independent decisions based on the best options and will continue to do so. My decisions while serving were always thoughtful and based solely on the needs of the Framingham community.

It is quite possible that some of my funding recommendations were disappointing for some applicants over the years.

One of those disappointments may have been my choice to not fund a request made from the Mayor’s office to fund a new position, seeking $15,000 of our approximate $90,000 budget.

At our public meeting on January 14, 2020, I questioned how the Mayor’s office could even justify the request through this grant and why couldn’t the City simply budget for this position?

I designated no money be awarded toward this request in my original allocation submission. (Jacob Binnall and myself were the only members to never award any funds to this through the entire process. We are also the two members not being reappointed to the committee.)

Eventually, during the final allocation meeting held on February 25, 2020, our committee unanimously agreed to not grant any funds towards the Mayor’s request.

I am very proud of my time serving on this committee and to be part of funding some wonderful programs and initiatives to enrich our community.

As I wish my former committee members, the newly appointed members, and all the applicants the best; I also extend that to the most important people involved in this – the beneficiaries of these funds within our community.

Karen Duffy
Framingham – District 1

editor

email: editor@FraminghamSource.com call or text at 508-315-7176

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