To the Editor:

I feel the need to respond to Alderman Jim Faller’s letter in As You See It from Thursday, November 6th. I respect Alderman Faller and his concern over spending money appropriately in the City of Plymouth, but as an Alderman for the City and as Chairman of the Finance and Personnel Committee, I would like to bring clarity to a few things.

It is certainly not true that the city has never given such a large amount of taxpayer money to a “non-profit” organization as stated by Alderman Faller. In 2009, the City contributed $250,000 to the High School Science and Technology Center which was an excellent example of a public/ private partnership.

I believe this has been a great addition to the Plymouth School District and the community. It truly has been a model for other communities.

Also, the city has partnered with Generations and approved a three-year $380,000 funding agreement in order to provide programming to our Senior com- munity.

During the Generations fund raising campaign, the city approved approximately $30,000 to cover the expense of extending the water and sewer lines for the new building.

In addition, the city supported an application to the State for a $1 million dollar CDGB grant that could only have come with city support. Without city support, the $1 million dollar grant would not have been available to Generations. Again, another example of the city supporting an organization that contributes to the quality of life in our community.

As with any fund raising effort, the Food Science and Agricultural Center had a goal and through tireless efforts of many, they exceeded their goals.

We congratulate them. I have no intention of supporting an effort to change the amount of the City’s contribution. When representatives from the fund raising campaign came to our Committee, I was impressed with their plans and their passion for the project.

I believe it will be another example of our community having a facility that will not only serve the needs of students and future leaders but will be a resource for the whole community.

I believe the money the City has contributed to the project is an investment for our future. It will pay back many times over as students have the opportunity to gain real-world experience and as future residents look for a community that has a strong school district, unmatched facilities, and strong community support.

It is important that the City continues to been seen as a strong partner for future projects, as we have been with projects in the past.

The decision to contribute $100,000 had unanimous support in Committee and seven yes votes in Council on June 24th. I have had only positive comments from others in the community regarding our decision.

Alderman Faller has also called into question the integrity and openness of our City Attorney regarding her relationship with the Plymouth Education Foundation and her influence on the decision to partner with this project.

I can say emphatically that as the Chair of the Finance and Personnel Committee, there was absolutely no influence or communication with our City Attorney during the fund-raising process.

As we vote on the City Budget on November 11th, I feel confi- dent we are making decisions that will not only continue to strengthen the city, but also strengthen the community.

The Food Science and Agricultural Center is an excellent example of partnership and I am proud to be part of it. I encourage any citizens that are in support of our decision to attend our City Council meeting tonight.

Shawn Marcom
Alderman, District 4, City of
Chairman of Finance and
Personnel Committee

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