CITY OF MELBOURNE, FLORIDA MINUTES – REGULAR MEETING BEFORE CITY COUNCIL JANUARY 27, 2009
Moved by Corby/Nowlin to approve Item “f.” Motion carried unanimously.
Approval of technical changes to the Disaster Relief Strategy in the 2007-2010 SHIP Local Housing Assistance Plan to allow up to $75,000 for owner-occupied reconstruction and up to $60,000 for rehabilitation assistance; and authorization for staff to transmit the revised strategy to Florida Housing Finance Corporation.
Mrs. Corby said that staff confirmed for her that that this action would increase the current $15,000 cap to $60,000 for rehabilitation assistance and $75,000 for owner-occupied reconstruction.
The City Manager added that during Tropical Storm Fay, people experienced extensive damage and this is the type of program that targets those types of situations. The City discovered that $15,000 just isn’t enough.
Mrs. Corby reported that out of the 19 applicants for this funding, only two needed more than the $15,000 cap. She asked if the other 17 applicants would still receive funds. Mr. Schluckebier replied yes and noted that this action will not harm them in any way.
Housing and Community Development Director Melinda Thomas confirmed that the funding source for this program is SHIP money through the William Sadowski Act. Mrs. Corby said that the Sadowski funds have been capped and the Legislature is considering stopping that funding; therefore, she does not feel comfortable with this item.
Mrs. Corby’s motion to deny Item “g” did not receive a second.
Moved by Tasker/LaRusso to approve Item “g.” Motion carried. Mrs. Corby voted nay.
Authorization for the City Manager to execute a 12-month contract extension for federal lobbyist services, Alcalde & Fay, Washington, D.C. - $45,000.
Mr. LaRusso informed Council that in 2005 he was told that for every dollar the City spends with a federal lobbyist, we would get $10 in return. He noted that has been true and he wanted to make sure folks were aware that this money is being spent wisely. His second reason for pulling the item off consent relates to the lack of regular reporting from the lobbyist. If this item is approved, he would like for monthly reports to be provided during the first six months of the Obama administration and then go to quarterly reporting. Earmarks have been eliminated from the stimulus bill, which means a whole new ballgame involving lobbying by governors, state representatives, lobbyists, etc. Additionally, he’d like to see a personal report from the City’s lobbyist at least twice a year.
Mrs. Tasker commented that she believes it’s a good idea to have some detailed reporting. It’s going to be very hard to gauge the production of a lobbying firm now that earmarks are out of the way.
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