Let CitiStat monitor grants [Letter]

March 03, 2014

It's disheartening and downright shameful Baltimore City can't account for almost $40 million in grant money ("Mayor to create a post to oversee city grant dollars," Feb. 27). If I ran my life that way, I'd be out of a job and on the street!

However, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake doesn't need to create a post to oversee grant money, she has a management group already in place, namely the Office of CitiStat. It's on the Baltimore website, by the way, and it looks like a perfect place to investigate mismanagement of funds. "CitiStat evaluates policies and procedures practiced by City departments for delivering all manners of urban services…" for example. Why create a new, expensive post with an equally expensive staff when one already exists?

As a taxpayer, I resent we've been ordered to repay millions. Baltimore needs that money just to keep going. And as far as city efforts to help the homeless, I'd like to know how many clients are actually from our area. Do records exist to show that perhaps many homeless and impoverished come from outside the city? Baltimore provides incredible services — just look at Health Care for the Homeless on Fallsway, for example. Have we created a nationwide magnet for the indigent?

It's time anti-poverty organizations clean up their act and stop whining they are "unfairly vilified" by federal audits. I pay a huge tax to live in Baltimore! Isn't it time CitiStat examines how our money is being squandered?

Rosalind Ellis Heid, Baltimore

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