Cheyenne Council President Questions Bloomberg Award Spending
City Council President Rocky Case says he questions the way a $100,000 award to the city from the Bloomberg Philanthropies was spent.
The city was awarded the money in 2018 as one of 35 '"champion cities" across the country in the Bloomberg ''Mayor's Challenge" program. Those 35 cities then competed for awards of $1 million each that were given to four cities.
Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr said at the time that the "champion cities" award would allow the city to take its '"fight the blight" campaign to the next level.
Cheyenne Leads characterized the city's plans to use the $100,000 this way:
''As a Champion City, the City of Cheyenne proposes to catalyze its city’s core revitalization by matching owners of underutilized commercial properties with entrepreneurs, supported by creative redevelopment incentives.
The innovation would involve creating an online site for linking owners of underutilized commercial properties with redevelopment resources, then matching them with entrepreneurs seeking flexible spaces to try ideas. The online site would also provide opportunities for local investment through equity crowdfunding for packaged projects called “Buildings with a Purpose” helping incubate the business idea and contribute to redevelopment of the building.''
Cheyenne was not one of the cities to receive the $1 million award.
But Case, appearing on the ''Weekend In Wyoming" program on KGAB radio on Saturday, said he questions some of the appropriations made from the award and how they would have contributed to the goals laid out for spending of the $100,000 award.
Case cited expenditures for Go-Pro cameras, airplane tickets, and bar tabs and questioned how they served the goals of downtown revitalization. Case posted a list of what he says the expenditures included on his city council Facebook page. Case said that at last report about $66,000 of the $100,000 the city received had been spent.
As of 7 a.m. on Sunday, Mayor Orr had not responded to an email sent out on Saturday afternoon seeking comment on Case's comments.