Saturday, June 20, 2009

Kent Dagg, Big Major Obama Supporter Forms Group To "Help" Control How The Stimulus Funds Are Spent In Shasta County.

Solar, Wind, Bio, Energy News And Commentary By_Green Earl, 30 year Pioneer In Conservation & Solar EnergyZauher: Group ready to handle stimulus funds

By Jim Zauher
Sunday, May 31, 2009

One of the newest buzzwords thrown around consistently these days is "transparency," in the context of "the full, accurate and timely disclosure of information."

As it relates to stimulus funding in Shasta County, a group has been formed that is taking this concept seriously. The Shasta Stimulus Team was formed by Kent Dagg at the Shasta Builders' Exchange, largely due to the exchange being involved with a residential audit and retrofit weatherization program funded through a city of Redding Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant.

The money is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) economic stimulus legislation.

This special allocation of stimulus funding will potentially assist 200 to 300 low-income family homes.

There is no question that for many of the local governments and organizations involved this is all about jobs - local jobs.

The question that came up that caused Dagg's interest in forming this group was, "with all of the money beginning to flow into the local economy from the ARRA to various local government, nonprofits and even the Redding Rancheria, who is doing what and how do we know if and when and where the jobs are actually being created?

More importantly, can we work together to maximize potential funding for Shasta County?

At the table right now with the team are the cities of Redding, Anderson and Shasta Lake as well as Shasta County and the Redding Rancheria.

In addition, the SMART Resource Center, NoRTEC, the Regional Workforce Consortium that provides funding to the local organizations, such as SMART and the Shasta College Economic Development and Workforce Development Department, are also key players in the process.

There is basic logical motivation for the group to work together.

1. Leverage. With all the money flowing and required to be spent quickly, there may be ways to leverage resources to make the end product better. As an example, the audit/retrofit program being coordinated by the Redding Electric Utility is required to have a job-training component. Under normal circumstances, the grant proposal would no doubt take part of the funds for that purpose. However, the SMART Business Resource Center also has training funds, so as a result of the collaboration, they can put their funds into the training, which leaves more money for homes to be weatherized.

2. Coordination and communication. Each of the agencies and governments either has funds directly allocated to it or needs to submit grant applications for competitive funding. There may be various ways to collaborate or combine resources to make the grant applications more competitive. There is also good value from learning approaches certain departments take or have had success with in their grant writing that may benefit and strengthen the other members funding possibilities.

3. Scorecard. One of the potential results of the collaboration is to create a scorecard that will provide a tracking of where the funds are coming from, who they are going to and how they are disbursed. The other key element of interest for all concerned is how many jobs are being created locally

4. Regional cooperation. Using the SMART Resource Center and NoRTEC as an example, job training funds are being disbursed to several counties. Along with the Shasta College Economic Development and Workforce Development Department as well as other community colleges receiving funds, there may be numerous ways that grants and programs can work together on a regional basis.

The bottom line to all of this is to maximize the use of stimulus funding for Shasta County and the region and to ensure that the result of job creation is monitored and reported.

These are crazy times for both local businesses and local governments, but we'll get through it and, probably, in some respects fare better than most because of the collaborative effort being made through the Shasta Stimulus Team.

In general, Shasta County has had numerous success over the years because of the solid working relationships between local government and agencies.

This is just another example of how it will benefit the people of the county and the region.

Jim Zauher is the economic development director for the city of Redding.

Posted by anotherjeff on May 31, 2009 at 12:02 p.m.

* Reply to this post
* (Suggest removal)

Kent Dagg??? It's a joke, right?

Isn't he still being investigated for his involvement in the State Comp fiasco?

Here we go again!

Posted by secondclass on June 1, 2009 at 11:11 a.m.

* Reply to this post
* (Suggest removal)

Current events show the folly of team Obama's stimulus spending. The U.S. has to borrow from China to pay for the jobs, most of which will come too late in the business cycle, and will be high paying engineering and highly skilled worker jobs, where there already is a shortage of qualified people. The borrowing lowers the value of the dollar and this raises long term interest rates (mortgage rates). Since oil is priced in dollars, gas prices have been rising sharply and four dollar gas is the cruelest tax on the poor who can least afford it.

Posted by gamerjohn on June 2, 2009 at 3:26 p.m.

* Reply to this post
* (Suggest removal)

in response to secondclass

Having been raised on Reagan's belief that the scariest words are "I am from the government and am here to help", it is hard to compare the flighty Obama plans to rescue to the see no need ignorance of Bush.

While I am sure there is a good example of a government program that actually accomplished whar it was supposed to do and then shut down, it seems like even the best intentioned ideas get hamstrung by rules and red tape so that the pure thoughts are lost.

Posted by pokadot on June 4, 2009 at 5:14 p.m.

* Reply to this post
* (Suggest removal)

Accepting this federal stimulus money and then spending it has to be a difficult decision for our area. Especially when one stops for a moment and considers that we represent a 'red area' on the political map, which means that we support a more conservative point of view here in the north state in the form of Republican candidates for public office.

Now what would our Republican politicians want us to do, take this taxpayer money and spend it, or send it back to Washington with a note of 'no thanks'? Didn't Governor Palin in Alaska recently suggest not accepting any federal aid?

I think that for many of our local out of work conservative contractor friends, they could sure use an economic boast from this federal stimulus recovery money right now, but what does their conservative radio talk show host say about all this?

Again, a most difficult subject matter to weigh in at, but like Jim notes above, these are crazy times.


American Energy Conservation Group said...

Actually...I should make a correction here...because I doubt that Ken was a Obama Supporter, Actually I was and remain so._Green Earl

I just think its funny that a guy..who had little to do with any energy stimulus is in such a hurry to get to the those funds_Green Earl

Blogger said...

You might be qualified for a new solar rebate program.
Discover if you're qualified now!

Like it? Why Not Share It?