Tocsin Magazine reached out to Councilmember Jose Peo for an update on the 14.5 million dollar amendment to the 21-22 budget former Mayor Lovely Warren requested. Peo stated, "members of the board did not see the entity responding quickly enough to the needs of local cannabis companies and potential employees, so they decided to give up the funding to allow it to go towards already active organizations in the cannabis field who have proven an effective model, and were much further along in the process."
The Committee and Public Hearings meeting on the 7th listened to Mayor Lovely Warren's request to amend the 21-22 budget. The meeting took place just days after Warren accepted a plea deal for an election law violation, a weapon, and child endangerment. At that time, Warren and council member Mitch Gruber went head to head over the multi-million dollar proposal to a startup organization. The company allegedly will provide training development for employment to residents. The beef heated up when Gruber suggested Warren was desperate for Council to pass without a thorough review. Warren's plea deal is one misdemeanor charge, admitting to 'knowingly and willfully contributed, accepted campaign donations in an amount more than the maximum amount specified.' It includes her resignation by December 1, leaving her with a few weeks remaining in office.
Gruber wasn't the only council member that had questions about the startup company rumored to have city employees on the board. Soon-to-be Mayor Malik Evans also had some concerns about dishing out 14.5 million dollars to an unknown business that never submitted an RFP. According to Google, a request for proposal (RFP) is a business document that announces a project, describes it, and solicits bids from qualified contractors to complete it. Most organizations prefer to launch their projects using RFPs, and many governments always use them. An RFP is a standard process when doing business with the city. Apparently, someone waived this process for one reason or another. Evans also requested an address for the organization, the name of the president or executive director, names of board members, how the funds will be used, and other information.
Introductory 375 passed with Gruber being the only council member to vote no.
Watch the video below to view the exchange.