Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Rest of the Story

"A message has been sent to the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates: Leave the Cape Cod License Plate funds alone".

That's how the Falmouth Enterprise ran a report in this week's edition (5/11/05) about the Assembly of Delegates Finance Committee meeting regarding the County budget.

Since when does the Falmouth Enterprise cover anything outside of Falmouth, let alone a County budget hearing, and not by the full Assembly, but by a sub-committee?

Seems the Finance Committee is going to recommend that the Assembly of Delegates vote to send the License Plate funds to the towns instead of the usual suspects (the County Economic Development Council (EDC) administers the funds). That would take the subsidies away from the EDC's current recipients.

So guess who was front and center at the meeting that wasn't even scheduled to discuss the EDC? The "Friends of the EDC" alumni association.

Missing from the Enterprise report was the detail that would put this group into perspective. Those who were quoted as speaking against the proposal also receive the greatest benefit from the License Plate program.

Mary Pat Flynn was obviously there to protect her turf. She is the chair of the EDC. She's been running the Council that's been rewarding their friends (over the last 5 years, to the tune of $2 million), with small but sometimes big grants of other people's money. She's from Falmouth.

Maggie Geist, Executive Director of the APCC (Association for the Preservation of Cape Cod) was there, speaking against touching the money. Another fact missing from the article is that the APCC is the single largest recipient of grants from the EDC.

Gwen Pelletier, Executive Director of the Lower Cape Community Development Corporation (LCCDC) was there because she gets License Plate funds from the county sometimes, but she also gets License Plate receipts directly as well (about$200K a year).

Gwen spoke against, because her agency more often gets to refer other lower Cape agencies, that she doesn't give money to, to the County trough (EDC). Because, you see, she uses her License Plate funds in-house. If the County trough ceased to exist, there would be questions asked, and the friends would want some of Gwen's money.

Missing from the pogrom, however, was Wendy Northcross, the Executive Director of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce. They too get an equal share (same as EDC) of the License Plate receipts, but it disappears into the black hole of their operations.

Wendy was smart enough not to attend the public meeting. But you can rest assured that she's lobbying against this proposal as well. With the County funds gone, the friends that were getting the money in the past from the County, will naturally turn to the Chamber with the some of the same questions. (See Gwen above).

But back to the main point. Why was this minor meeting of so much interest to the Enterprise?

The quiet force behind this matriarchy is Janice Walford, Editor of the Falmouth Enterprise, friend of Mary Pat Flynn, Maggie Geist, Gwen Pelletier, Wendy Northcross and Julia Taylor, the Assembly delegate from Falmouth (not mentioned in the above article, but was quoted in the The Cape Cod Times this week as opposing County funds going back to towns).

As Paul Harvey used to say, "Now you know the rest of the story."



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