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Opinion: Jacksonville City Council looks to reform nonprofit funding

Nonprofit funding.jpg
Bob Self
/
Florida Times-Union
City Council member Rory Diamond sponsored legislation that would change the rules for nonprofits seeking city funding.

The Jacksonville City Council is poised next week to approve a series of reforms intended to more closely scrutinize cases in which City Hall provides taxpayer money to nonprofits that employ members of the council.

The legislation, written by Council member Rory Diamond, came in response to controversy the night the council approved the city's annual budget in September: After 11 p.m., the council approved a raft of six-figure grants for three nonprofits that employed council members at the time, as well as a fourth for the JAX Chamber, a not-for-profit that employs council member Aaron Bowman. The payments required the council to waive rules ordinarily requiring that money to be competitively awarded.

The largest of those grants, a $500,000 payment to Community Rehabilitation Center Inc., a nonprofit long run by Council member Reginald Gaffney, came from the city's share of federal COVID-19 relief money and was an opportunity not available to scores of other needy organizations in the city.

Read the rest of this story at WJCT News partner The Florida Times-Union.