MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The Mobile City Council made headway when it came to funding one organization to promote entertainment in the city, but stalled on the Office of Strategic Initiatives, which works to secure grants for Mobile.
Mayor Sam Jones said the city will suffer while one council member said it's nothing but a scare tactic.
Catt Sirten runs Avalon 360 in downtown Mobile. He said the city has an opportunity to change the attitude of people who think there is never anything to do in the Port City — and it starts with funding Events Mobile, Inc.
"When you have public events tied to the city budget, obviously, we are at the mercy of the budget which we all know can be fluctuating. By having a separate organization do these events, I think makes it easier for those to take place," said Sirten.
Sirten encouraged city council members to approve funding in the amount of more than $72,000. He said providing for a group to organize events makes it easier to get them going.
Events such as the Moon Pie Drop, Brown Bag in Bienville and other entertainment venues will be funded by the money which the city council approved unanimously.
Strategic Initiatives still in the balance
While headway was made on that issue, it came to a standstill when it came to the Office of Strategic Initiatives.
Last week, council members cut $30,000 from the office , which seeks out grants. Tuesday, it held off voting on contracts for the two employees who make up the office.
Mayor Sam Jones said losing the office would jeopardize grants for the city, community service projects and youth programs.
"Hopefully we will have movement on this next week. If not, we are denying the citizens' services," said Jones.
The mayor said the office is critical when it comes to programs such as the Explorers' program and Weed and Seed but City Council Member John Williams said the mayor is using scare tactics to get his way.
"Instead of being forthright in job description and other things very specific to the job and who they apply to, he chose to make a threat on the Explorers Program," Williams said. "The people of this city are getting tired of the threats."
Williams said all he wants is to see where and how the money is being spent. FOX10 has requested copies of the job descriptions.
"Exactly what are we going to get? And from which of the two contracts, and they can't be the same thing," said Williams. "The duties cannot be interchangeable. That is not the way we do contracts. So when he brings a contract, he needs to be forthright and when we ask for an answer he needs to give us the answer."
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