Below is a link to the National Leagues of Cities information regarding the America Recovery Plan. There is certainly a great amount of information. The City of Oakley is slated to receive eight million dollars as the first allocation. During the last City Council meeting, the Council sent a message to the City Manager Bryan Montgomery to research the need for childcare in the City and make arrangements for its enhancement. Mr. Montgomery came back the next day and said there was “no space” for childcare, and Oakley did not need childcare enhancement. When asked to search further, he refused, saying the “in his mind the best alternative is to take the eight million and add another section to the Rec Center.” I was surprised and assumed it is because the City has operated so “lean and mean” for so long that the City staff is overwhelmed with the new responsibilities the ARP money brings to them.
As a solution this coming Council meeting, I will ask that the City hire an outside consultant to manage the money. The initial money is for childcare, and income support, and such, not for infrastructure development, especially basketball courts. An outside consultant could assist the Council in devising legitimate projects with the ARP money. In the interim, I would be amenable to the City developing a contract with a suitable childcare agency to assist the City’s parents with childcare, and providing direction for support for all children in Oakley. CoCoKids has stepped forward lately. I am not knowledgeable of their operations, but as a non-profit they would qualify for City ARP funds. If a review indicated they were suitable for working with the City I could support such an arrangement.
Please contact the Oakley City Council members with your thoughts.