File Name: CITIZEN'S PRESENTATION BY CORNELIUS SHIVER,
Agenda Date: 11/6/2007
Agenda Item Number: 1E1
CITIZEN'S PRESENTATION BY CORNELIUS SHIVER, PRESIDENT/CEO OF MARTIN LUTHER KING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
Audrey M. Edmonson, Prime Sponsor
Board of County Commissioners
Mr. Cornelius Shiver, President/CEO, Martin Luther King Economic Development Corporation (MLK EDC), 6114 Northwest 17th Avenue (Dist 3) appeared before the Board. Mr. Shiver noted MLK EDC was in the process of implementing a comprehensive development plan for MLK Boulevard. Mr. Shiver addressed a series of articles which had appeared in the Miami Herald entitled “Breech of Trust.” He said the articles falsely accused the MLK EDC of using Empowerment Trust Funds for unintended purposes. Mr. Shiver noted the MLK EDC had not received any funds designated for the Empowerment Trust. Mr. Shiver referred to a memorandum from the County Manager that discussed the FY 2006-2007 MLK EDC’s award of $100,000 from the CDBG and $150,000 from General Discretionary Fund. Mr. Shiver noted those allocations were consistent with allocations that MLK EDC had previously received. He also noted the Empowerment Trust was nothing more than a fiscal agent for the MLK EDC and that the funds were not Empowerment Trust monies. Mr. Shiver said the line was crossed when the article insinuated that some of the funds allocated to the MLK EDC were used to throw block parties. He stated that he and the community found this to be insulting because MLK EDC sponsored cultural events. One of these events, he noted, celebrated the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the other commemorated the date Dr. King was assassinated. Mr. Shiver pointed out that it was insensitive, culturally biased, and misleading for the Miami Herald to refer to these events as block parties.
Mr. Shiver said that it was important for the Board to understand that MLK Blvd. needed more work, and the work could not be performed without the support of the County. Mr. Shiver noted that the revitalization of the MLK business center was one of the projects that had been approved overwhelmingly by voters. Contrary to statements made by the Miami Herald the revitalization project was on schedule, said Mr. Shiver.
Commissioner Moss suggested that Commissioner Edmonson, as Chairwoman of the Health and Human Service Committee, consider having meetings to allow groups to discuss their issues on the record and to further explore the activities of organizations.
Commissioner Edmonson expressed appreciation to Commissioner Moss for this recommendation. Commissioner Edmonson noted she was offended that the Miami Herald had identified cultural events in the African American community as block parties.
In response to Commissioner Rolle’s inquiry regarding the process of allocating funds to a Community Based Organization (CBO), and regarding who monitored the process, County Manager Burgess explained that an allocation made to a CBO would likely be directed to Office of Community and Economic Development (OCED) for monitoring.
Commissioner Rolle expressed concern that the process did not occur in the proper manner. He stated that he had made an allocation to the MLK EDC, that once the allocation was made it was up to the CBO to submit its measurable objectives, and that if the CBO did not measure up to the objectives, the County would not award funding. Commissioner Rolle expressed further concerns regarding the statement in the Miami Herald article alleging that upon his allocation to the MLK EDC, he asked the Empowerment Trust to monitor the funds. He pointed out that upon his allocation to the MLK EDC, he had not asked the Empowerment Trust to monitor the funds. Commissioner Rolle stated that he made an allocation to a CBO that he felt was credible.
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