Kenosha Common Council passes J.O.B.S. N.O.W. Program
The resolution to create the The Job Opportunities By Several Neighbors Offering Work Program (J.O.B.S. N.O.W. Program) passed by a 12 to 4 vote. The measure was sponsored by Aldermen Anthony Nudo (11th Dist.), David F. Bogdala (17th Dist.), Michael J. Orth (15th Dist.), G. John Ruffolo (4th Dist.), Ray Misner (13th Dist), Steve Bostrom (12th Dist.), Theodore Ruffalo (2nd Dist.), and Jesse Downing (16th Dist.).
The proposed plan creates and retains jobs through lending or granting various unallocated on-hand funds to commercial tenant and property owners for rehabilitation of commercial real estate, so long as jobs are created or retained for a majority of low-to-moderate income persons.
There was much discussion among the aldermen before the roll call vote.
Alderman Katherine Marks was concerned about this resolution, as was Alderman Anthony Kennedy. Marks said she didn’t feel she had enough information. She wanted to know what these funding sources were and how much was available.
Alderman Rocco LaMacchia moved to defer for 30 days until the council finds out where the funding is coming from, but later withdrew the motion for no support.
Alderman Steve Bostrom chastised the Council for “whining” about not being consulted. He stated that he has about 20 vacant buildings in his district, some for as long as 22 years. “This is the forum where alderpersons can ask their questions,” Bostrom said.
Alderman Anthony Nudo stated that he already answered the questions about funding at the Finance Committee Meeting, and that he would answer them again. The funds were unused dollars from revolving loan funds. They could be used for special items like economic development in the private sector, to sustain jobs. He gave an example of a restauranteur looking to relocate to Kenosha. This money could sway him to make his decision to come here.
“This is a piece of the bedrock for the community’s future,” Alderman Theodore Ruffalo said.
Kennedy said that if the council thought he was a “whiner” because he asked questions, then so be it. He asked that the words “grant” and “granting” be stricken from the resolution because those words insinuated money that didn’t need to be repaid, but that motion was not supported. Alderman G. John Ruffolo added an amendment to have the resolution finished in 60 days, and that was approved by a roll call vote of 12 to 4, as was the approval of the resolution.