Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Rule of law, rule of process: continued

With regard to the earlier posting about the Right Size Hine campaign, another instance of extranormal involvement of elected officials in government activity creating an environment supportive of corruption is the creation of the Children and Youth Investment Trust as a pass through for monies to "nonprofit" organizations and activities for "children" and "youth."

It was a bad idea because it created a seemingly independent entity, but the board overseeing it were just political appointees, and the people working for the agency saw themselves as peers to other government agencies, and in any case, they allowed themselves to be subject to the extra-normal "suasion" of elected officials and their representatives.

It created an environment perfect for the conversion and embezzlement of funds by former Councilmember Harry Thomas Junior and the embezzlement of funds by Larry Thompson for a "boxing" program in Ward 1--funds were directed to the program at the encouragement of the Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham. See "Thomas may have had help to divert funds, D.C. Council report finds " from the Washington Post and "Nonprofit Management, D.C. Style" from the Washington City Paper.

Instead, why the f* isn't there a "recreation" master plan with ward subplans, or a "chilren and youth" enrichment plan for the city, and decisions made accordingly?

But the other reason that this is so "shocking" is because I was project manager for the Brookland Main Street program in 2007, and we had to file voluminous monthly reports, and to get disbursements we had to file voluminous reports with multiple sets of documentation.  Plus, the city changed its procedures so that we were screwed out of 2/3 of the payments--which meant that I was screwed out of a goodly amount of the pay I was supposed to receive.

So how the f* could Harry Thomas or Larry Thompson abscond with so much money--hundreds of thousands of dollars, when I was basically screwed out of salary because of hardcore financial disbursement procedures, which were changed--not to make it easier to get money with no controls, but to reduce the city's payout?

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