It was a very smart move by council members to have the city attorney report directly to them. I asked what I thought was a simple question.
Thanks to Councilman Kee, I received an answer yesterday afternoon right before the council meeting. Thank You again Councilman Kee!
"...As I have received a request from a member of Council to answer your question, here is the answer to Question 1, which sought a legal answer....Your question is based on the Economic Development Services Contract that the City has with DGI. The City also has an Enhanced Projects and Services Contract with DGI, and an agreement with Downtown Greensboro Improvement Corporation for Downtown Revitalization. I reviewed all three documents in order to answer the question.
If DGI is already being compensated for the "professional management of various programs and projects... including general accounting" and Other Services...
Is it Legal for DGI to charge additional management fees or other undisclosed fees out of the :
- Clean and Green Service contract with The BUDD group -Not Disclosed
- Center City Park's Pass through funds destined for maintenance - Not Disclosed
- Enhanced Projects and services contract- disclosed but claimed that it was to cover financial auditing.
Answer: Yes.... SO far nothing surprising in his answer, but legal does not mean ethical.
You've also asked for my rationale behind the answer, and it is based on the terms of the agreement. The terms of the contracts permit DGI to charge for management and implementation of the programs, and it appears that the charges would be included. Therefore, I do not see what DGI has violated its contracts with the City. Specifically, I do not see a violation of any terms of the Economic Development Services Contract. Further, the charges you mention for the BUDD Group or Center City Park, are related to a contract the City has with Action Greensboro, not between the City and DGI. To the extent that DGI and Action Greensboro have an agreement related to Center City Park, any issue related to fees is an issue for those parties. I am also unaware of any violation of North Carolina or Federal Law related to DGI under these contracts.
S. Mujeeb Shah-Khan
"Further, the charges you mention for the BUDD Group or Center City Park, are related to a contract the City has with Action Greensboro, not between the City and DGI. To the extent that DGI and Action Greensboro have an agreement related to Center City Park, any issue related to fees is an issue for those parties"
So the MISMANAGEMENT of tax payers' sponsored PASS THROUGH funds destined to support a private park, is NOT an issue for the city, because the stealth misappropriation of funds is embedded in a contract between one of the park 's owner's non profit (Bryan Foundation/Action Greensboro) and another city funded entity (DGI) with questionable ethics???
I guess that is the point, so convoluted, so many layers that it would be difficult for anyone to have issues...we would have to understand it first.
WE / taxpayers are doing a very nice and generous thing by sponsoring a private park right outside of Centerpointe for "all" to enjoy... unless of course you touch a tree, lay on a bench in the sun or play with the fountains in the summer heat.
We are supporting the benevolent non profit Action Greensboro which is sponsoring DGI, which in turn is sponsoring Action Greensboro and then I remembered that April Harris used to run DGI.
The Young Professionals sure have good role models.
PS: We are still looking for the accounting on the annual $150,000 contribution to Action Greensboro/Center city park out of the BID fund controlled by DGI...funds that should have been returned if not used.
BUDGET TIME ...ELECTION YEAR