Moore said JACC had been "heavily dependent" on NRP funding, but Moore wanted to transition into having more "private donors" because he thought such dependance on NRP was "dangerous" and put the organization "under the barrel," by which he presumably meant "under the gun."
(Regular readers, feel free to insert in-jokey remarks about "The Queen's English")
Moore said "policy makers will try to push the organization in a particular direction" so, for this reason, seeking private donors seemed the better option. Moore talked about some of the tensions in the neighborhood, saying...
"Many of the residents are afraid of our young people."
It wasn't clear what Moore meant by "our." Clearly, he couldn't have meant ALL young people in North Minneapolis. He certainly didn't mean my high-achieving math geek son coming over for visitation every other weekend, extended periods in the summer, and certain holidays. He probably doesn't mean the three young children of Hawthorne Neighborhood Chair Peter Teachout who endured the terror of their father's truck being torched by CRACKHEADS in the dead of the night on the Fourth of July. I should probably mention the Teachout family has one more child on the way. I doubt if he means the children of Don Samuels, the children of Anderson and Lisa Mitchell.
In any case, there was the sweeping, all-encompassing phrase: "our" young people.
Because of the fear of "our young people," Moore said the neighborhood looked at programs like the "juvenile detention alternative."
There were, however, problems with JACC. The organization was on some kind of "probation" with the McKnight Foundation. There was an issue about the turnover of the Executive Directors. Under the leadership of Jerry Moore and the Ben Myers faction, JACC wanted to emphasize their "youth programs" instead of "the NRP stuff."
"Neighborhood groups can be self-destructive," Moore pontificated. "Dollars are used to control individuals." Asked what that means specifically, Moore referred to the City of Minneapolis gaining control of neighborhoods through NRP funds.
"NRP is trying to exclude people of color," Jerry declared.
Somewhere near this point came the noon break, and the defendants took lunch at a nearby cafe. Council Member Don Samuels joined the group, and was given a seat of honor at the head of the table. Not ordering anything to eat himself, Samuels accepted some leftovers from another person's plate.
"It takes a village to feed Don Samuels," quipped Megan Goodmundson.
This is something I've noticed about the intensely-bonded individuals who are part of the "pro-city" point of view in the tightly-knit neighborhood associations, the people working every day to bring about revitalization instead of urban decay. They will literally give you the food off their plate.
Back in court after lunch, Plaintiff Attorney Jill Clark cackled and then asked David Schooler, "What's your new secret papers, Mr. Schooler?" in a tone that might suggest they were BUDDIES. Kelly Browne sat and read "Bridge of Courage" about political oppression in Guatemala, though she apparently knew in her heart she needed to read the manual to her new washer and dryer, sitting in her purse, unread.
With Jerry back on the stand, sipping water with the lingering lips one might take to a glass of Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon, Jerry Moore said there had been discussions in 2008 about declining to take "CPED" funds from the City of Minneapolis. The reason was the "organization leaders" (by which Jerry apparently meant the Ben Myers faction, at that time in the majority) saw CPED as having too many stipulations on the dollars.
"When did the 2008 CPED contract expire?" Clark asked.
"The last day of December, 2008," Moore answered.
"By mid-January, 2009, was there a new CPED agreement?" Clark asked.
"No," answered Moore.
Clark let the answer linger in the air, as though she had just gotten somewhere important. Oh, yes, the takeover by the Kip Brown faction in January, 2009 was ALL TOO CONVENIENTLY TIMED, now wasn't it?
Yeah, kind of like fighting the hijackers in the cockpit before they could fly that sucker into the White House.
Moore spoke about the numerous grievances filed by Dan Rother and Dennis Wagner. Wagner had about 30 grievances, Moore said. One of the grievances concerned Moore's eligibility to be the Executive Director, and the eligibility of board members. There were requests for ledgers to show expenditures check-by-check, line-by-line.
Addressing the finances in a way he apparently never did while Executive Director, Moore testified there had been discussions with the Ackerberg Group about JACC's "inability" to pay rent at the "JACC House" on 2009 James Ave. N. The idea was raised of moving out of 2009 James Ave. N. Moore said he didn't see the point of having so much space.
"Did you neglect to submit expense reimbursements to NRP?" Clark asked.
No, Moore said, he did not. He talked about the responsibilities of the accountant, clearly shifting the responsibility to her, then caveated by saying there were "a few months where the accountant had a death in the family" and "things fell behind." Seemingly defending the accountant, Moore managed to shift virtually all the blame to her and the dying family member, all the while using SUCH a sympathetic tone.
"Did you learn of conduct by Anne McCandless around the Otto Bremer funds?" asked Clark.
Yes, Moore said, McCandless (dared to demand) a copy of the report, and she communicated that "funds were being misspent." Moore said McCandless should call HIM with her concerns, but he "never got a call from McCandless." This testimony produced muted laughter from McCandless. The contempt in that room for Jerry Moore hung thick on the "groom's side" of the court room.
"Who solicited $400 from NRP to reprint the elections slate?" asked Clark.
That would be Kip Browne, Moore answered.
"What was the relationship between Robert Miller and Anne McCandless in the Fall of 2008?"
Over heresay objections by Schooler--overruled--Moore said McCandless threw a fundraising party for Miller's (abortive) Mayoral campaign against R.T. Rybak. The relationship between Miller and McCandless was apparently cohesive, from Moore's point of view. Anne McCandless would talk to Bob Miller and soon would come a letter, a phone call. Miller sent a letter "chastizing" the board for a decision they made about Moore's employment.
Clark asked about working to clarify the tax status of the JACC-owned "probation house." Moore said he had "several discussions" about that topic and he was "hopeful" that eventually JACC could get the taxes waived. Because of his meeting with "Mr. Cosgrove," Moore said there was "a plan in place" to work with the City Assessor on the tax issue.
"What was JACC's position in regard to the Minneapolis Advantage Program?" Clark asked, referencing a program which provides down payment assistance to home buyers, with the idea of turning empty, dangerous, boarded-up houses into vital, safe, healthy homes. Moore didn't agree with the program because good credit ("A credit") was needed to quality. So the proposal didn't pass the Executive Board. It was bounced back to committee.
"Some" thought this program was "a repopulation or regentrification tool," Moore said, and that "JACC wanted a tool to touch more than just a certain population." Jerry found the Minneapolis Advantage program "inequitable."
Skipping around in her questions quite a bit, Clark returned to the subject of Dan Rother's inquiries and grievances. Moore said he was doing "extra work" because of Rother, and Rother would call "early in the morning, and late at night." Jerry felt like he was Rother's "personal secretary" or something. Jerry went so far as to research IRS guidelines about "harassment of a non-profit." In between unlimited HBO at the JACC office, lunch at the Monte Carlo, and plenty of pizza, Moore mulled over the situation with Rother and thought how it seemed like "a ploy to make sure no work could get done."
"How did people conduct themselves at meetings?" Clark asked.
Shouting, Moore answered. Yelling. He'd never been on a board like this. People were told to "shut up and sit down" and claimed "I was threatened by people." On the other hand, Moore said, there were times people were "cool and calm."
Claiming he was "fearful" of Dan Rother--a gregarious gay man who got fixated on the notion that he was, oh gee, entitled to look at the JACC books, being on the BOARD OF DIRECTORS and all--Jerry sought a harassment/restraining order against Mr. Rother after an incident of "standing, gesturing, pointing" which made Jerry Moore feel "fearful." Rother had been "all up in my space" and "dipping into my private life." Rother had been trying to contact Jerry by phone, and Jerry pointed out "I was doing other work outside my job," including the Northside Marketing Task Force.
(Moore has reportedly been removed as the chair of the Task Force)
MOORE said that ROTHER said that MOORE said Stu Ackerberg's group was "a bunch of faggots," which Moore denied saying. The sense of this controversy having some aspects of a playground dispute certainly lingered in the air near THAT moment. In the hearing over the restraining order, Moore claimed the judge thought Rother was "pushing it" and blaming Jerry for stuff going on with JACC. Moore said the judge spoke to Rother and warned him. All these things Jerry said in a somewhat forceful tone, making his point. The point about how the restraining order was, ultimately, not granted....that part Jerry kind of mumbled, like an afterthought.
This part he said forcefully:
THE BOARD MEMBERS ARE FIGUREHEADS AND HAVE TITLES BUT THE GRUNT WORK GETS PASSED TO THE STAFF.
TO BE CONTINUED....This coverage is only possible by donations, see PayPal button, and sorry to be a bother but...bloggers can't live on air and water like a spider fern.