Newly appointed Roanoke City Councilman Alvin Nash today announced that he will remain on Council and the company he runs, Blue Ridge Housing Development Corp, will forego Federal funding, which has averaged around $500,000 a year. This is required to avoid a conflict of interest since Roanoke City administers these funds.
OK. Does that sound right to you? Giving up $500,000 a year for a job that pays something like $15,000. Maybe someone can enlighten me as to how this makes any sense.
UPDATE: The Times has updated this story to state that Blue Ridge Housing Development Corp will forego two types of Federal grants, but not Federal money altogether.
From the Roanoke Times.....
Nash to remain on Roanoke council
By Mason Adams
Roanoke Councilman Alvin Nash said this morning that his company, Blue Ridge Housing Development Corp., will forego federal funding so as to allow him to remain on the city council for the remainder of his term, which expires in 2010.
The city had applied to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for an exemption from the federal conflict of interest law, but the federal agency denied the request. The federal Community Development Block Grants or HOME Investment Partnerships Program subgrants make up about 40 percent of Blue Ridge’s annual funding, Nash said.
Nash said this morning that rather than resign from the council or from Blue Ridge, the nonprofit group would instead forego the federal funding for the remainder of his term.
“We have enough on the table in current contracts that would last for the next couple years,” Nash said. “We may revisit this later and I may make another decision, but right now I don’t want to make a career decision just from this.”
Nash said the Blue Ridge would also pursue “alternate funding” sources and look for projects in localities other than Roanoke.