Citizens District Council Minutes 10-02-2018

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Citizen’s District Council Meeting
City of Muskegon CDBG
Conference Room 203
Muskegon, Michigan
October 2, 2018

The meeting was called to order by Veania Coleman at 5:31 pm.

Roll call was taken by Samantha Pulos-Porter, and a quorum was present.
    Present:
            Ken Johnson - Commissioner
            Veania Coleman
            Jeremy Lenertz
            Scott Banninga
            Eleanor Canter
    Absent:
            Kim Burr
    Excused:
            Carrie Johnson
            Poppy Sias-Hernandez
    Staff Present:
            Oneata Bailey
            Samantha Pulos-Porter

A motion to approve the minutes from September 4, 2018 was made by Scott Banninga; Kim
Burr seconded the motion, which pass unanimously.

Oneata Bailey reported that the CAPER was submitted on September 27th. When approved by
HUD, the final submitted report will be available online. The City Commission previously
approved CNS’ budget to be submitted to HUD. They have 15 days to approve the report. There
may be additional information or clarification requested by HUD. Jeremy Lenertz mentioned
that the CAPER seemed to address the issue of homelessness and asked many questions about
the subject. Oneata stated that the only participation we have with the cause of preventing
homelessness and taking action within our community is to participate with the Continuum of
Care. She stated that we do not put any of our money towards serving the homeless population.
The Continuum of Care receives funding from HUD provided that they partner with local
agencies. Jeremy asked about the number reported on the CAPER about the racial/ethnic make-
up of citizens served.


New Member – Eleanor Canter. She is a disability activist that works in Washington DC from
her home here in Muskegon. She started a group called Disability Justice League about one year
ago. The group has begun to get into city specific advocacy efforts recently.

The current year budget was presented to the group. Oneata reported that the agreement was
signed and that we did receive the grant monies. CNS will set up activities based on the approved
budget. Scott Banninga asked what the line item specified “Fire Station Bond” meant. Oneata
explained that it was payment towards the cost of the new downtown fire station. Veania
Coleman asked what specific improvements would be done at Smith-Ryerson Park. Oneata
answered that there would be inside and outside improvements and an air conditioning upgrade.
Veania also asked what Oneata planned to do with the money for Youth Opportunities/Interns.
Oneata explained that CNS will be requesting proposals before the end of this year and
interviewing interested parties to determine how to best utilize those funds. The timeline of how
money is spent after it is received from HUD was also discussed. Commissioner Johnson
questioned if the line item for CHDO reserve was the correct amount. He remember it being
$100,000 and not $50,000. He stated that the commission packet in May listed CHDO Reserve at
$100,000. Oneata clarified that it was approved and published for $50,000. The confusion was
attributed to an older version of the budget being uploaded with the commission packet

After Staff Reports, Eleanor requested that New Business be revisited. She explained that when
she reads the CAPER, it is her understanding that HUD is asking repeatedly what CNS is doing
to combat and prevent homelessness. Eleanor requested the Commissioner Johnson provide her
the policy that the City has that states that all City built houses have a visibility standard. He
explained that there was no existing policy and would could be established through a
commission resolution if she would like. Scott Banninga shared his experience in the community
with homelessness in the City. Eleanor re-stated that HUD was asking in the CAPER report what
we were doing to combat and prevent homelessness. She asked if there was a supplemental
document explaining what CNS’ plan was to do that. Oneata explained that some line items in
our budget do not have the opportunity to help homelessness. Eleanor explained that if they did,
we would be able to report on that fact in the CAPER. Eleanor also stated that any City funds
that are used on any service or program, have to be available for all citizens in an accessible way.

Oneata stated that on September 28th, she was contacted by Medicaid that we were officially
approved for the Medicaid CHIP Lead Grant. She explained that someone had been hired by
CNS to run the lead grant and would be going to training in October. CNS will be partnering
with the Health Department which will provide the education part of the process. Veania asked
what will be covered. Oneata explained that it will cover wherever lead is found. She also stated
that priority would be given to household with children under 6 with elevated lead blood levels
and that licensed lead contractors will do the work.

Oneata reported that there has been a lot of interest in CNS’ rehab houses that are currently for
sale. 1350 Eastwood is listed for $137,000 and 1025 E Forest is listed for $71,000. 1015 E Forest
is nearing completion.

Scott Banninga motioned to adjourn the meeting, Jeremy Lenertz seconded the motion, which
passed unanimously. Meeting adjourned at 6:58 pm.

The next meeting date is: November 6th, 2018.

Eleanor expressed her concern that the City was doing accessible parking exclusively in the form
of parallel parking. She stated that there needed to be curb cut outs that allow for a van with a lift
to use each space with the ability to safely get to the sidewalk.

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