Fran Pastore — I’m exhausted. Not in the usual way. Sure, I work hard and have a lot of responsibilities, like most people. But I love my work and I enjoy my crazy life. I’m tired of the nonsense. I’m drained by the political ping-pong being played in our city. No matter how honest and sincere one is, the facts are never as salacious as misrepresentations and lies.

In Brianna Gruciullo’s recent article: “Stamford planned to hire an outside firm to allocate COVID business grants. Now it will do it in-house,” we see how this unfortunate truth played out at recent Board of Finance (BOF) and Board of Representatives (BOR) meetings where they were asked to approve the contract between the Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC) and the City of Stamford for the administration of grants stemming from the American Rescue Plan Act. I watched as board members asked leading questions to create an illusion of nepotism and incompetence.

The truth is, the BOF and BOR always knew there was going to be a cost associated with administering these funds. When these boards initially appropriated $1.5 million of the ARPA funds for small business grants, they were explicitly told by the mayor’s administration that a portion of the funds would be used for this purpose. Ms. Gruciullo reported on this in May. It wasn’t until after the administration went through the long, thorough process of soliciting requests for proposals and interviewing organizations, that the BOF and BOR used this administrative cost as justification for not supporting WBDC as the administrator.


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