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Politics & Government

Kalamazoo leader: $70M private gift to city part of new “age of philanthropy"

Downtown Kalamazoo.
Michigan Municipal League
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Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM
Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell says the opportunity is a "game-changer" when it comes to how the city approaches its future.

Last week, City Commissioner Matt Milcarek joined Stateside to talk about his reservations about a $70 million gift and future private money that the city of Kalamazoo received to help fund city services. It’s called the Foundation for Excellence.

Milcarek expressed his concern about whether city government should be so reliant on private donations, and whether city employees would feel answerable to the people and their elected representatives or to the wealthy donors on whom the city might depend.

Other commission members support accepting the gift and the additional hundreds of millions of dollars to follow. David Anderson is one of them and he joined Stateside to explain his view.
According to Anderson, he understands the skepticism that someone like Milcarek might have, but in the end, it would be foolish to not accept a gift of this magnitude in this "age of philanthropy."  

Listen to the full interview above to hear Anderson address concerns about the gift, more about what the money will be used for, and how the city can avoid conflicts when it accepts massive gifts from private donors. 

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