Public Notice – Conflict of Interest 8-13-21

August 17, 2021

August 13, 2021

Mayor Stephen Gawron
Muskegon City Hall
933 Terrace Street
Muskegon, MI 49440

Re: Conflict of Interest: Community enCompass

Dear Mayor Gawron:

The City of Muskegon is considering entering into a contract with Bethany Housing Ministries d/b/a Community enCompass (“Community enCompass”). As a City Commissioner for the City of Muskegon, the following letter is provided.

As you are aware, I am employed by Community enCompass. More specifically, I am the Director of Homeless Services, which focuses solely on providing housing services and financial assistance to individuals who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, which includes eviction prevention services. I oversee 25 full-time and part-time employees and a budget of approximately $7.9 million, including the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance program.

It is my understanding that the City of Muskegon sought proposals:

  1. to provide child care services and financial assistance for children of low-income households; and
  2. to provide youth with work and educational experiences between June of2021 and May of 2022.

Community enCompass submitted a proposal for its Youth Empowerment Project (“YEP Youth Program”). The YEP Youth program provides early work experiences for children in low to moderate income households and provides educational opportunities promoting leadership skills. Approximately 21 high school youth are involved, with an anticipated budget of approximately $100,000, which include the $20,000 from the City of Muskegon CDBG funds presently under consideration.

I receive no direct benefit from the City funding this program. I have no involvement in the YEP Youth Program. The programs I oversee do not receive any monies from the YEP Youth Program. My salary will not change based upon whether the City of Muskegon funds or does not fund the YEP Youth Program.

I do not foresee any indirect benefit from the City funding this program. I have no knowledge as to whether any of the money proposed for this program would go towards general operating expenses of Community enCornpass. Further, it would be unlikely that anyone participating in one of my programs would also benefit from the YEP Youth Program.

I have had no involvement or discussions with the city of Muskegon’s staff or Community enCompass’ staff, concerning this matter.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Very truly yours,

Michael Ramsey

Ward III Commissioner

C: Ann Meisch
Oneata Bailey
Frank Peterson