Sunday, February 23, 2014

How to Fix Mom and Pop Grants. By Geniusofdespair

 It is Mom and Pop Grant time again. I wrote about this previously. And: I wrote about it again because I think it is a stupid waste of money.

The "Mom and Pop" GRANT program (translate free money for my for friends and family) is one of the biggest rip offs of tax payers money by the county and that is saying something.

These GRANTS have historically been given to companies that are no longer in existence ... Or to professional services. They are clearly a form of political patronage. I did cross check grant recipients with the campaign contributors of commissioners and found no link but I did a spot check. That is why I asked for an audit.

The bulk of these GRANTs have been used to pay for the salaries of recipients or their family and friends. They have also been used to purchase equipment. Usually computers which remain in possession of grantee when they go out of business. there have been no comprehensive analysis of jobs created. That is why I called for an audit. They should go back to when program began and determine how many are still in operation, who received the grants and what was the money used for. What has been the return on investment to the tax payer in the form of incremental taxes? And who are the folks getting these grants and upon what basis are the grants awarded. Why does criteria differ from district to district?

If the county was serious a about helping  legitimate small business while protecting the tax payer these Grants should be converted to a revolving loan fund  -- loans at below market rate, or as a loan guarantee for SBA loans or bank loans. A report should be filed and made public  for every business going forward three years.

As structured this is just another rip off for tax payers to fund commissioners political patronage pure and simple. Divert this money to libraries!!

I got this comment on my last post (comments can or cannot be accurate, but I thought this one was at least interesting):
I applied for a grant in Bruno's district. Everyone that showed up got a $1,000.00. You were supposed to speak to a committee to prove why needed the money. The process was a joke!! They didn't care what you said. But you did have to go to a meeting that showed you fill out a simple form. They didn't care about your business needs! I didn't collect my 1000.
February 09, 2014
As I found, a few Broward companies got a grant, and I did not do a thorough search. We need an audit or we should drop the program.


Anonymous said...

you nailed when you said friends and family. we certainly would love to see Lynda Bell"s district with those grants. a poor politician like Bell tries to buy votes buy giving away back packs, mom and pop free money and other free give aways on our dime, id rather see more community services than those free give aways that are solely designed to get the same old BS politicians elected,

Manny said...

Don't forget that the average librarian in the Miami-Dade system makes $70k annually, which far exceeds the market rate for librarians. Taking money from other sources such as the mom and pop program will only temporarily mask the unsustainable salary problem that is crippling library services.

Seen it happen said...

The non-profit NANA has made a business out servicing the grants and is the provider of the instructional guidance for the grants. The CEO started out urging the commission to create the program and then managed to be funded to be the face of the program.

The department of economic development used to audit and visit the receipents .... And report back to the commissioners what their grantees were up to. Believe me some of the audits were ugly. It depressed the county grant managers, but once the audit was turned in, the county staff was without authority to punish the violator or cause the grantee to repay the county for misuse of funds.

Anonymous said...

"Don't forget that the average librarian in the Miami-Dade system makes $70k annually, which far exceeds the market rate for librarians"

From a job posting website:
"Average Librarian salaries for job postings in Miami-Dade County, FL are 13% lower than average Librarian salaries for job postings nationwide." Salaries are listed at $41,000/yr.


Manny said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

"Poverty pimps". NANA and its well paid boss Leroy Jones make a fortune giving away the taxpayers money. So many poverty pimps in the urban core. Who needs to work when money is given away?

Geniusofdespair said...

Stay on topic this post is about mom-and-pop grants not about librarians

Anonymous said...

Mom and pop grants sound like a nice idea. No new hires for most of the departments in the county in the last year - not so nice. Salaries of front line workers may be higher because they are long term employees who have over 15 years of service, The newbies with the lower salaries got sacked with layoffs in 2011. After 28 years, I earn an income over 70k. If I survive another 10 years, after 38 years, the salary will be the same since I've topped off at this job classification. Now, I know, after I retire, I'm going for the sweetest free money deal from this mom and pop grant. Might as well use this cash cow as my bonus for all of the insults.

Anonymous said...

Mom and Pop grants are just gifts to supporters. Any scammer with an application written in crayon gets $1,000+. Check to see how many of the alleged businesses actually exist. Just political patronage.

Anonymous said...

Geniusofdespair - you should keep a collection of all of the removed comments for publishing at a later time under HATERS, LOSERS, AND CREEPS.

Anonymous said...

anyone who speaks truth to power and questions excessive government salaries is now considered to be a hater, loser, and creep. how sad.

Geniusofdespair said...

Sorry $70,000 for a college educated woman in a field for over Ten years is not excessive. This post is not about your truth and it is yours not mine.

Anonymous said...

This message goes out to the Commissioners on the BCC. Staff, if you are reading this, let me mention the following names so I know you will pass this along to the Commissioners Barreiro, Bovo, Zapatta, Bell, Sosa, Souto, Suarez and Diaz

If you are for these crappy, corrupt and foolish Mom and Pop grants, than you ain't no fiscal conservative. You are just PRETEND Republicans.

This couldn't be more corrupt if the Castro regime was handing them out directly.

Make it stop if you don't dare order an audit that will incriminate you.

Grumpy Old Man Who Votes

Fulk Nerra said...

G.O.D. I know you are the ultimate authority but even our fearless leader stated that perhaps a technical degree is better than a a degree in the humanities.So what is a librarian really worth? A question that has dogged humanity throughout the ages.

As for Mom and Pop, its a ripoff and I agree should be a self sustaining loan fund if anything, not a pinata.

Anonymous said...

I knew three companies who submitted applications for Mom and Pop grants. All serious companies paying legal wages to legal employees. Each company could have used a grant to purchase equipment to expand their businesses. All three companies were denied. All were owned by non-Hispanic whites. All three companies are still in business. How many of the fake kitchen table companies are still in business?

Anonymous said...

Better yet, let's get the Beacon Council involved to do some grant audits. They can spread a little pony poo and tell us how these grand recipients are adding to the local economy. Maybe those folks can use their grants to become paying members. I hear they serve food at their meetings (no free Turkeys though).

Grumpy (and sometimes obnoxious) old man who votes.

Anonymous said...

All of this moron taking trash about mom and pop grants need to know that small business like mine made it thru the bad economy thanks to mom and pop. The real pimps are the ones that got billion of tax payer money and are screwing us. Hana serves a purpose in our community. The real pimps are the Beacon Council raping our county to give or hard earn money to large corporations and pay large salaries to well connected big wigs than only serve a small part of our county.