As you may recall, yesterday 3BP posted about a $3.5 million grant awarded to a project in Cuyahoga County called Midtown Tech Park and being developed by the Geis and Coyne families.
It also just so happened that members of the Geis and Coyne families had contributed over $79,000 to both Lee Fisher and Ted Strickland. And lest we forget, Terry Coyne also hosted a fundraiser for Lee Fisher in 2009.
Well, a bit more research yielded some interesting information.
As most of my readers should know, many grants are awarded on a competitive basis. This was one. Applicants were scored by adjudicators and the top applicants won the grant.
Except in this case there was a strange outlier.
For some reason, four applicants that scored better than the Geis/Coyne application actually were completely rejected for any funding.
My questions? Why is there a scoring system if the scores are ignored when grants are awarded? If other variables are considered, shouldn't they be incorporated into the scoring system?
Additionally, if other variables are considered beyond score, isn't it strange that no applicants that scored lower than the Geis/Coyne application were awarded grant money?
And ultimately, what were the specific variables considered that deemed the Geis/Coyne application worth funding over other applications that scored better?
The subtext? Were the $79k in contributions and the Coyne fundraiser influencing factors?
My readers, if I'm missing something, please let me know. The specifics for how high intensity site development grants are awarded aren't exactly an expertise of mine, or of many people, I imagine. Perhaps there is something buried within the piles of Ohio Code that I'm missing. But that being said, I'd like to think the scoring system is there for a purpose. And if it wasn't utilized or manipulated for this grant, I'd be curious as to find out why.
Either way, the massive amount of contributions combined with the strange scoring system for this grant should raise questions.
If they can be answered satisfactorily, great. If not, well then this may be a much bigger story than I anticipated.