Gilbert Town Council rejects reallocation of CARES Act money through Community Development Block Grant program

Gilbert Town Council
A 3-3 tie meant Gilbert Town Council did not pass a proposed reallocation of some of the town's CARES Act funds. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

A 3-3 tie meant Gilbert Town Council did not pass a proposed reallocation of some of the town's CARES Act funds. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

Correction: Gilbert Town Council will meet once more, Jan. 5, before changing members.

Gilbert Town Council rejected a reallocation of federal CARES Act dollars Dec. 15 through the town’s Community Development Block Grant program.

Staff proposed changes to the $150,000 the federal government gave to Gilbert to spend through the program after the town’s use of state AZCares money made the original allocation unnecessary. The funding was part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

Instead, staff proposed giving $60,000 to the Meals on Wheels home-delivered meal program for Gilbert residents; $50,700 to the East Valley Men’s Center and La Mesita Family Homeless Shelter to sustain and adapt services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic for town residents; and $39,300 for an emergency and minor home repair program to income-eligible residents to assist with health or safety-related home repairs.

The item was on council’s consent agenda, which groups routine items into one for quick passage. However, any council member can request an item be pulled from the consent agenda for separate discussion and vote.


In this case, Council Member Jared Taylor pulled the item and said he opposed it because it represented wasteful federal spending.

The vote was 3-3 with Aimee Yentes and Laurin Hendrix joining Taylor in dissent and Council Member Scott September absent.

As a result of the tie, Town Attorney Chris Payne told council the item was not be approved.

Town Manager Patrick Banger said staff would have to look at how to tweak the proposal to make it acceptable to council as the town must use the money it was granted.

He said the item also could come back from September returning to council or as newly elected Mayor Brigette Peterson joins council at its January 12 meeting. Either could ask for it to be added to the agenda for further consideration with possible changes. Taylor’s term as a council member will have expired at that point as well.

Taylor also pulled from the consent agenda an intergovernmental agreement with the Phoenix Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force that spent $10,000 for the purchase of equipment and specialized training, though he said he supported the work. The item also failed on the same 3-3 vote, but it later passed 5-1 when Yentes moved to reconsider it separately. Taylor again voted in dissent.

The council also postponed a vote to allow spending $120,000 on a traffic study related to safety and congestion around schools at drop-off and pickup times. Yentes asked for the item’s removal from the consent agenda and questioned the timing with schools not always meeting in person and traffic generally down during the pandemic.

Separately from the consent agenda, council reversed a previous approval of a new town logo with a stylized G monogram on a 6-0 vote. Some community members and police and fire departments members had raised concerns about the monogram, and staff worked to make small changes that would make it more distinctly a G, which met with council approval.
By Tom Blodgett

Editor, Gilbert

Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent more than 30 years in journalism in Arizona and joined Community Impact Newspaper in July 2018 to launch the Gilbert edition. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he served as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication from 2005-19 and remains editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.



MOST RECENT

Surf City Sandwich, Pork Belly Banh Mi
Surf City Sandwich owner combines passions of surfing, cooking

Paul Figliomeni said he has two passions in life: cooking and surfing

Now open
Three new places for medical care in Gilbert

Here are three new places for medical care in Gilbert

Cactus Yards, kickball
National organization recognizes Cactus Yards as nation’s top facility

The United States Specialty Sports Association named Cactus Yards its National Complex of the Year at the 2021 USSSA National Convention in Orlando

Gilbert mural
Gilbert looking to fill new Community Engagement Task Force positions

The Community Engagement Task Force will provide a forum where matters of social welfare and community concern may be presented, discussed, and collaborated upon to address concerns within the town of Gilbert 

By the Bucket is preparing for a soft opening that it is seeking to have Dec. 1. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)
By the Bucket heading toward soft opening in Gilbert; Atomic Comics reborn at SanTan Village in Gilbert and more top Phoenix-area news

Read the most popular business and community news from the past week from the Phoenix area.

Make a Movie class
Six Pixels Studios East Valley/Phoenix owner's love of film blossoms into new career path

Six Pixels offers classes from filmmaking, stop motion, photography, YouTube and more

Gila River Hotels & Casinos plans to open Santan Mountain Casino in the next 18-24 months, company officials said. Future plans for the area include a hotel. (Rendering courtesy Gila River Hotels & Casinos)
New casino coming to Gilbert area; Duck Donuts marks 2 years in Chandler and more top area business news

Read the top business news from the past week from the Gilbert and Chandler areas.

Krista Cox
Gilbert Public Schools governing board approves course description books, fees

Krista Cox, GPS secondary school curriculum, instruction and assessment director, summarized the changes for the board as being done to improve the user friendliness of the book through its structure and format

Gavel, law books
Gilbert moves to dismiss lawsuit asking courts to throw out bond election results

The town of Gilbert asked Maricopa County Superior Court on Nov. 29 to dismiss a lawsuit that challenged the town’s $515 million streets, transportation and infrastructure bond election.

By the Bucket exterior
By the Bucket heading toward soft opening Dec. 1

The Italian restaurant serves hot spaghetti to go in a bucket and meatball sandwiches.

Atomic Comics
Atomic Comics reborn at SanTan Village in Gilbert

It marks the return of a popular comic book store chain in the Phoenix area that opened in 1988 but closed its four stores in 2011 in bankruptcy

Western Canal
Town narrows Western Canal pipeline solutions to 4

Some residents said after the Nov. 15 meeting they believe the town will just decide to use its original preferred solution of using eminent domain to claim the town’s easements on their property,