Fact Check: Ferguson Future Foundation

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In the last council meeting, mayor Jones appointed herself to the board of the Ferguson Future Foundation. She told the council that she was doing so as a result of “staff recommendation.” Others said that appointing herself made the Foundation look like a slush fund.

First, we filed a sunshine request with the city for all correspondence pertaining to this matter. After paying a $4 fee, since the city still refuses to waive fees for public interest requests as permitted by the sunshine law, we found that the mayor was truthful when she said she was acting according to staff recommendation. The recommendation came in a memorandum from Dave Musgrave and Eric Oysterbird.

Since the memorandum did not specify the reason for the recommendation, we asked Mr. Musgrave. He responded with this:

Nick,

My recommendation was simply the previous appointments of the board with the "new faces" who replaced them. The previous board was as follows ...

Dave Musgrave - Board Member
Alexis Miller - Board Member/ Treasurer
James Knowles - Vice President
Matt Unrein - President
Apollo Carey - Secretary
Jeff Blume - Board Member

The recommendation I gave to the City Council as reflected in my e-mail was ...
Dave – Board Member (current)
Lexie Miller – Board Member/ Treasurer (current)
Mayor Jones – Vice President (NEW)
Donald Boyce – President (NEW)
Apollo Carey – Secretary (current)
Eric Osterberg – Board Member (NEW)

My recommendation simply took the existing board that was previously in place, and replaced any members who are no longer part of the City of Ferguson with their new counterpart. 

My ultimate goal is to simply move the renovation project forward. Without a voting board in place the project is stuck at a standstill. This project was started over 4 years ago and I just want to see us moving in the right direction. 

While we hear the objections of those who oppose the mayor’s appointment, unfortunately the precedent was set under mayor Knowles. We believe our community would be served better by appointing a board in keeping with the charter of this supposedly independent non-profit. But it didn’t happen before, and it isn’t happening today.

On a side note, is there a reason why we are paying our city attorney to serve on this board?