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Gop Spends Public Aid On Asphalt

Gop Spends Public Aid On Asphalt image
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With charges of manipulation and illegal use of funding still ringing in tlieii ears from two public hearings, Council republicans went on to pass the controversial citizen's committee allocation of S2.4 million in community development revenue sharing funds lasi Monday. The GOP not only backed the plan as it Stood, but made several minor changes themselves, lopping off money for job training and youth employment to pay for street improvements. Half the money, intended by Federal law to benefit predominantly the city's poor and moderate income people, is instead going into sueh projects as firc and public works equipment, downtown improvements, and tree planting. The minority members of Council attacked the plan, arguing it went against the spirit of the federal act. Councilwoman Kathy Kozachenko suggested a possible lawsuit under a provisiĆ³n of the act wliicli prohibas funding for normal city services, like public works and street repair. She accused the Republicans of a brutal attitude towards the city's poor, replacing let them eat cake with "let tliem eat gravel." Council Democrats presented an alternative budget, backed by Kozachenko, which they will submit to the federal government as a minority report. The minority budget puts 44 percent of the funds into direct community services, compared wiih the 20 cent in the GOPapproved budget. Councilwoman Carol Jones termed the inajority proposal "a grab bag of projects which does not fit any priorities except the particular mood of the committee at a particular meeting." The final outcome of the revenue sharing f'unds will probably await the results of the April elections. Should the Dems wrest control of the city from the GOP. a reconsideration of priorities for the federal monies is likely. In the city elections, voters have a chance to voice their opinions on whose plan they like better.