Former Commissioner Geter Blasts Commission, County Mayor For Pulling Funds From Black Groups

  • Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Former County Commissioner Katherlyn Geter on Wednesday blasted the commission and county mayor for pulling $850,000 from the Urban League and the Sankofa Fund for Civic Engagement, calling it "irrational, unjust and low down."

Ms. Geter hit "the disrespect shown to process and policy unjustly committed by this commission and county mayor."

The County Commission recently voted to pull $1,050,000 that had been pledged to county Parks and Recreation and the two local groups and use the funding for two county school athletic projects.

Earlier, the Urban League was told it was getting $450,000 and the Sankofa Fund for Civic Engagement was pledged $400,000. Parks and Recreation was to receive $200,000 for parking lot paving projects at the Enterprise South Nature Park.

The money is from the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

County Commissioner Lee Helton had introduced a late resolution that would allot the funds instead to provide a turf field at the Howard High School football stadium and upgrades to the softball field at Brainerd High School. The resolution was approved.

Ms. Geter said commissioners had "violated a signed agreement between Hamilton County and two black non profits that were promised and awarded federal funds."

She said the funding was to have been used "for their invaluable work for the benefit of disadvantaged people of color."

Saying the two groups were "betrayed", she termed it "a violation of trust and a violation of a signed legal agreement." She said it caused "significant harm and injustice."

She said it was "not only a violation of a legal agreement, but a violation of trust and good will that our community has placed in our governing institution."

Ms. Geter said the action was "a hurtful reminder of the systematic challenges that continue to face black and brown communities. And, furthermore, it truly paints the true narrative of Hamilton County, which is inequality and division."

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