Bakersfield City Hall

Bakersfield City Hall

A proposed Bakersfield City Council resolution that called for official opposition to President Donald Trump's budget cuts is being scrubbed to remove a partisan tinge.

Instead it will call for supporting the Housing and Urban Development grants — which total millions of dollars for Bakersfield — that the city is so keen on protecting from cuts.

The language has not yet been released to the public, but City Manager Alan Tandy confirmed Thursday the resolution's new phrasing. 

The City Council is expected to see the resolution during its meeting July 19.

Ward 7 Councilman Chris Parlier asked staff to draft a resolution concerning Community Development Block Grants, CDBG, and the Home Investment Partnership Program, HOME, because Trump's revised budget eliminated the programs. Parlier said he wanted to let federal representatives know about the importance of CDBG and HOME sooner rather than later.

The resolution appeared on the June 7 City Council agenda, but Parlier delayed voting on it to "work more on the language."

Now with the resolution set to change from opposing cuts in Trump's budget to supporting CDBG and HOME grants, Parlier said the declaration would "show importance of CDBG without necessarily being polarizing in the language."

Ward 1 Councilman Willie Rivera is another strong supporter of CDBG funds. He was the member who convinced Parlier to have the resolution return to the agenda in a month. He said he's fine with the change.

"I guess we're still sending the message," he said. "It's saying the same thing. If folks want to be overly sensitive to not offend people, they're welcome to do that."

The City of Bakersfield estimated it will receive more than $5 million in HUD funds next fiscal year - about $3.26 million of that is CDBG and about $1.1 million is HOME.

CDBG funds are typically used by the city for curb, gutter and sidewalk improvements. This year, the city will make those improvements and use about $300,000 to fund three additional police officers to patrol downtown and southeast Bakersfield.

HOME money goes to fund homeless support programs and the city's senior center. According to Bakersfield Homeless Center Executive Director Louis Gill, HUD is the largest funder of homeless centers across the United States.

Tandy said in his weekly memo Friday that last week, some of Congressman Kevin McCarthy's office staffers toured various CDBG and HOME Investment Partnerships-funded project sites with city staff.

McCarthy sent The Californian a statement June 7 on his stance on HUD funds.

“I appreciate the president submitting a budget that reduces the deficit,” it said. “Congress holds the power of the purse and as we develop our budget I will continue to listen to our community and fight for the programs that work for our neighbors.”

Tandy said city staff will be available to answer any more questions from the congressman's office.

"The goal is to ensure that we hopefully get the CDBG monies refunded," Parlier said, "because it's been a blessing for us for curb and gutter to help the city and underserved areas of the community."

Dorothy Mills-Gregg can be reached at (661) 395-7368. Follow her on Twitter via @TBCCityBeat.

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Bakersfield should be looking forward to getting MORE money from CA as the "HUD" money is theoretically supposed to come back to the states. CA as a state and Bakersfield as a city ought to be funding housing. The Federal government is there to provide defense of the country, commerce between states and foreign countries. It is NOT there to provide housing in the city of Bakersfield. Maybe CA ought to quit funding it's "sanctuary" philosophy and single payer (400 BILLION $) and focus on helping cities in the state.

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