Leah LaRue, Assist Dir.
The city of Atlanta Dept. of Neighborhood Planning
I wanted to follow up on your email about the Community Impact Grant, CIG, and a line item for a Lawncare Program. The grant that we worked on never had that item, no members remember voting on it and it has never been discussed. You also mentioned several other things that I did not complete. I serve as the secretary, fiscal agent, project manager, supplier, and community engagement chair for NPUR. The sergeant of arms and I were able to complete almost everything planned for NPUR’s 2022 grant fulfillment.
The NPUR chairs Donovan Dodds and Rita Harden, have only sat in on one planning meeting and only after the grant funds were received and had cleared my business bank account. Understand me, they stopped communicating with me after the vice chair was told by your office that I had complete oversight of the grant budget. The chairs attempted to force me to pay for a drawing that the chair made and wanted the executive committee to agree to use it as the new logo for branding. The chairs walked out of this planning meeting which was at a local restaurant after I stated that I would not use grant funds to pay for our dinner and drinks as an NPUR planning expense. This type of behavior has continued relentlessly for the past few months.
The chair, removed our largest and quite possibly the most impactful community engagement event, from the budget during this meeting after realizing that we were granted $6500. and not the $7474. that we requested. Never have either of the chairs brought forth any leadership to the NPUR executive committee, no committee building, or community engagement planning and implementing not even an email communication stating such, the entire time while holding their positions. I had to make some executive decisions because they would not. I have no problems with doing a budget check-in from time to time but not weekly. I will not be held to another standard because the chairs have come to you complaining like petulant little children because things have not gone their way. Remember your office came to me and asked that I assume these duties and now you email me with false accusations of misappropriation of funds.
After receiving your email with erroneous statements and having spent time with the NPUR chairs whom I believe to be dishonest, guarded, and who have picked up very bad behaviors with no good intentions of leading NPUR, anywhere except, down. The “Vote For One, Vote For All” election, was allowed to take place this month and it was a farce. Many members would like a new election, before the new year. Leah, I believe that you may very well be the cause of the discourse in our communities, right now. Please remember that you work for all, of the residents of Atlanta, not just a few. I am a neighbor and a volunteer of NPUR and it should be a joy to volunteer in one’s community, however, right now, it is not.
I become upset when my rights are blatantly subverted by the same people we elect and pay to work on our behalf. Many neighbors give up and stop when they come up against these types of community leadership challenges, but I will not… and I pray that you become better in your service to the neighborhoods and the people of Atlanta.
I have asked the Partnership For Southern Equity to step in and help resolve the matters you are having regarding the erroneous grant line items, how the money was spent, and to see if NPUR is truly following our “Best Practices” for proper leadership. Per your email request, I have stopped all spending of the grant funds, canceled the NPUR Year-End Gathering, and requested the deposits back. I will update the budget and have a check cut and mailed to the city for the balance of the unused grant funds, email receipts, and paid invoices and that should close out the NPUR 2022 grant.
Sheryl Brown, NPUR Secretary 2022, NPUR Clean Energy Advisory Board Representative
US EPA Environmental Justice Academy Alumna 2016
Below, are Donovan Dodd and Leah LaRue.
Citizens really do not want to involve themselves in such matters and creating great working relationships is of the utmost importance, but sometimes you have to lean in.
I would love to hear your feedback on this post or about volunteering, and how you like to serve in your community. Highlight good leadership and shine a light on bad leadership too, or any challenges that you may be experiencing in your NPU or community. These are our neighborhoods let’s Stand Up for them and Participate in them, more.
#BOSSUP #bossupandchangeyourworld #bossupswatlanta #communitystrong #cleanenergyatlanta