Guest Opinion | James De Pietro: “We Should Expect More of our City Commissions”

first_imgOpinion & Columnists Guest Opinion | James De Pietro: “We Should Expect More of our City Commissions” By JAMES DE PIETRO Published on Thursday, July 30, 2020 | 2:18 pm 84 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena More Cool Stuff At the end of June, via Zoom, Pasadena’s Transportation Advisory Commission or “TAC” held its first meeting in five months due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has affected so many lives in our community. In addition to being TAC’s first virtually held meeting, it was also my last as a member, having served as the District 7 representative since 2013.While proud of my time on TAC, the past several months have provided some critical distance and strengthened my view that our city commissions are invaluable resources that are undervalued and underutilized. Furthermore, I believe that Pasadena and our City Council should use our commissions to further engage with the public and develop and vet policies that affect every corner of our city.Pasadena has more commissions, committees, and boards than its neighbors because they all serve a critical function – community participation with knowledgeable and informed members of the public. These commissions help advance diverse issues such as arts and culture, planning, accessibility and disability, the status of women, and now potentially police oversight.During my time on TAC, I had the privilege to serve alongside transportation engineers, affordable housing developers, community organizers, and a retired bus driver, to name just a few. Other than our dedicated city staff, few know these complicated issues better than these commissioners because they bring both their professional expertise and real-life experience. Because of their unique qualifications, we should expect more from our commissions because of the unique position they play in serving both the public and the City Council.One of the most controversial issues that arose during my time on TAC was the proposed construction of a road diet along Orange Grove Boulevard. This plan would have reduced the number of vehicle travel lanes as well as created a center-left turn lane with buffered bike lanes. Because departments did not develop an adequate public outreach strategy and leverage the knowledge of our commissions, the situation has become a case study in how well-intentioned government objectives and community group interests do not always align. The lasting effects have included the erosion of public trust and an increase in public division.In the case of Orange Grove Boulevard, TAC or other city commissions could have interfaced with the City Council and department staff earlier so that they could have played a more constructive role. Our commissions could have dedicated meetings to provide both City departments and the public the opportunity to evaluate plans and express their support or opposition. By doing so, commissioners could have helped ease tensions by listening and aiding in the development of a thoughtful community-based compromise that benefited most interests and assisted the work of the Departments of Public Works and Transportation and the City Council.As a city, we are facing significant health and economic challenges. When we ask so much of our elected officials and our tireless public servants, we need to acknowledge that they are sometimes under-resourced from both a personnel and informational standpoint. To expect our City Council and Pasadena employees to do everything is unrealistic and unfair. However, with some changes to how we utilize our Commissions, they can help alleviate this strain by bridging the gap between the government and the public.Like many other commissions, TAC operates as an advisory body to the City Council and its expressed purpose is to discuss, analyze, evaluate, and make policy recommendations. But far too often commissions are brought into discussions too late to make substantive impacts. The result is that they are relegated to a more reactive and isolated role than a proactive and visible one and thus operate more like islands than part of an integrated system.Therefore, a proposed solution is to empower commissions to develop regular and actionable policy recommendations to the City Council. The first step toward this objective is for our commissions to hold additional meetings and not just in one location, but across the city, so that they can hear the diverse opinions of our residents, businesses, and visitors.When I look back at my time on TAC, I am incredibly proud of its work, such as updating transportation metrics from level of service (LOS) to vehicle miles traveled (VTS) and advocating for more significant funding for alternative transportation infrastructure. However, TAC often worked without public input because our meetings were not easily accessible, and because we did not prioritize community outreach, and this should not be the case.Every person who has served on a commission knows that there are limits, rules of operating, and systems to protect the public, city departments, and the City Council. These are essential checks on balancing power, and non-elected commissions need to be careful and considerate not to overstep their authority or burden city staff. Keeping these considerations in mind, however, commissions can and should play a more significant part in shaping Pasadena into the place we want it to be.Going forward, I believe that there are two things that, as a city, we should consider. First, the City Council should fully take advantage of our commissions by assigning them more responsibility and providing them with additional autonomy to explore issues so that they can actively participate in policy recommendations.And second, commissioners should demonstrate greater leadership in the community. Aptly positioned, commissioners should use their time of service to promote issues, call for action, communicate and educate others, and bring additional voices and diverse viewpoints into the process.Pasadena has so many public commissions because it highly values community involvement and the free and respectful exchange of ideas. Accordingly, we need to update the role of our commissions now so that they can act in an effective, engaging and approachable way.James De Pietro represented District 7 as a member of the City of Pasadena’s Transportation Advisory Commission from 2013 to 2020 and served as its Vice Chair and Chair during his tenure. He lives and works in Pasadena. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * STAFF REPORT First Heatwave Expected Next Week Community News faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyCitizen Service CenterPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Top of the News center_img Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  CITY NEWS SERVICE/STAFF REPORT Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Community News Herbeauty15 Countries Where Men Have Difficulties Finding A WifeHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyWant To Seriously Cut On Sugar? 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Fannie Mae Makes the Grade

first_img The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago **The monthly summary report contains information about Fannie Mae’s monthly and year-to-date activities for our gross mortgage portfolio, mortgage-backed securities and other guarantees, interest rate risk measures, serious delinquency rates, and loan modifications. Fannie Mae helps make the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and affordable rental housing possible for millions of Americans. We partner with lenders to create housing opportunities for families across the country. We are driving positive changes in housing finance to make the home buying process easier, while reducing costs and risk. To learn more, visit fanniemae.com and follow us on twitter.com/FannieMae.** The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Fannie Mae Makes the Grade 2017-06-29 Brianna Gilpin Fannie Mae Makes the Grade Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago June 29, 2017 1,230 Views Subscribe Brianna Gilpin, Online Editor for MReport and DS News, is a graduate of Texas A&M University where she received her B.A. in Telecommunication Media Studies. Gilpin previously worked at Hearst Media, one of the nation’s leading diversified media and information services companies. To contact Gilpin, email [email protected] Previous: Survey Says. . . Next: Greg McCoskey Joins NTC as Lead General Counselcenter_img Share Save Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago  Print This Post Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago About Author: Brianna Gilpin Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Fannie Mae’s monthly summary showed a compound annualized growth rate of 1.5 percent for May 2017, an increase of 0.2 percent from the 1.3 percent annual growth rate shown in April. Fannie Mae’s book of business also increased at a compound annualized rate of 1.5 percent.Fannie Mae also reported that the conventional single-family serious delinquency rate decreased three basis points to 1.04 percent in May, from 1.07. A year prior, the overall rate was 1.38 percent. The multifamily serious delinquency rate remained flat at 0.04 percent, which is a 0.01 percent decrease year-over-year.The first five months of 2016 showed 1.8 percent monthly growth year-to-date. Fannie Mae’s total book of business showed a compound annual growth rate of 1.4 percent for all of 2016, which compares with a 1.8 percent compound growth rate year to date in 2017. Fannie Mae’s gross mortgage portfolio increased temporarily in April and came back down in May to $255,721 from $278,462. For the full year in 2016, total mortgage portfolio end balance was 272,354.Fannie Mae added that it had completed 7,210 loan modifications in April. Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News Related Articleslast_img read more

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Yes Equality Donegal ‘Share the Love’ Campaign

first_img Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Yes Equality Donegal ‘Share the Love’ Campaign By News Highland – February 14, 2015 Twitter Google+ WhatsApp HSE warns of ‘widespread cancellations’ of appointments next week PSNI and Gardai urged to investigate Adams’ claims he sheltered on-the-run suspect in Donegal Google+ WhatsApp Previous articleListen back to the latest Weekend Edition with Barry filling in for GregNext articleInishowen Man Remanded in Connection with his Parents Murder News Highland center_img Homepage BannerNews Facebook Pinterest Dail hears questions over design, funding and operation of Mica redress scheme Man arrested in Derry on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences released Facebook Pinterest Dail to vote later on extending emergency Covid powers Especially for Valentine’s Day, The Yes Equality Donegal group are hosting an online fundraising event as part of their campaign for a Yes vote in the Marriage Equality referendum.The Facebook event, calls upon people to “Share The Love” this Valentine’s Day by donating to Marriage Equality. The event has reached over 3000 people. Donations can be made to Yes Equality by text or online at any time, and information on how to do so is available on the event.Spokesperson for Yes Equality Donegal is Noel Sharkey, he want’s people to look at the long term effects of supporting the Yes campaign and has the details on how you can donate:Audio Playerhttp://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/noel12.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derrylast_img read more

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Sushant Singh Rajput Death: Plea In Supreme Court Seeks Direction To Complete CBI Investigation In 2 Months

first_imgTop StoriesSushant Singh Rajput Death: Plea In Supreme Court Seeks Direction To Complete CBI Investigation In 2 Months Sanya Talwar7 Dec 2020 4:15 AMShare This – xA Writ petition has been filed in the Supreme Court questioning the “silence” on part of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) regarding the status of its probe into the mysterious death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput.The plea filed by Mumbai resident Puneet Kaur Dhanda and her husband, Advocate Vineet Dhanda has urged for issuance of directions to the CBI to complete…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginA Writ petition has been filed in the Supreme Court questioning the “silence” on part of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) regarding the status of its probe into the mysterious death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput.The plea filed by Mumbai resident Puneet Kaur Dhanda and her husband, Advocate Vineet Dhanda has urged for issuance of directions to the CBI to complete investigation in two months and submit a report in the case.The plea states that almost four months had passed by after a bench of justice Hrishikesh Roy had given a seal of approval to the Bihar government’s recommendation for a CBI probe but as of now, the CBI has not put forth any developments regarding the status of the case in public domain.”This Hon’ble Court posed serious faith in the most premium investigative agency of our country and directed an investigation in the unnatural death of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput as the death of the actor shook the entire country and even the fans abroad got a setback due to untimely and unnatural death of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput. This Hon’ble Court passed an order for CBI enquiry on 19th of August 2020 and despite lapsing of almost four months the Central Bureau of Investigation is yet to conclude its investigation and all the eager family members, fans, well-wishers of the late actor are yet to get a solace regarding the exact reason of the death of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput”- Plea in SCThe petition has prayed that the top court should not allow probe into the death case of the late Bollywood actor to continue endlessly but instead fix a time frame of two months for completion of the investigation.There is an anxiety in fans across the world and also in family members and well-wishers as to how and why the young star died a mysterious death – Plea in SCThe petitioners pray that the CBI be directed to submit a report basis the investigation in the concerned court as well as before the Supreme Court. The plea states,”The Central Bureau of Investigation is not acting responsible in the present case and there is a delay in the conclusion of the investigation of the case. Even in serious offences like murder the law stipulates filing of charge sheets in ninety days but in the present case the premium investigating agency has failed miserably in their role and the unnecessary delay in the present case is bringing bad name to the administration of justice not only in our country but across the globe.”The plea further stipulates that intervention of the court for the aforementioned directions is required because “the Social media is full of conspiracy theories and rumours about death of Mr. Sushant Singh Rajput” & “delay in the case is increasing the suffering in the hearts of all people who loved and appreciated the actor”It is stated that in the interest of justice and to keep the faith of law alive in the hearts of people, as the delay of the investigation of the present case has caused a “serious dent to the image of the CBI” and administration of justice in the eyes of general public. Next Storylast_img read more

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Mother & Baby Home leak must be investigated – Pringle

first_img Twitter Previous articleLUH staff praised for coping with Covid pressuresNext articleTanaiste says this will be darkest month for HSE News Highland Facebook Pinterest Mother & Baby Home leak must be investigated – Pringle Google+ WhatsApp By News Highland – January 11, 2021 Facebook A Donegal Deputy has described the leak of details from the Mother and Baby Homes report was another betrayal of survivors and their families.Some of the details were published in a newspaper yesterday however it was intended the report was be discussed with survivors in an online forum before it was made publicMinister Roderic O’Gorman has said he will seek an investigation into how these details came into the public domain.Deputy Thomas Pringle has branded the situation as disgraceful:Audio Playerhttps://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/pringle.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. AudioHomepage BannerNews Google+center_img WhatsApp Pinterest News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Journey home will be easier – Paul Hegarty DL Debate – 24/05/21 Twitter FT Report: Derry City 2 St Pats 2 Derry draw with Pats: Higgins & Thomson Reaction Harps come back to win in Waterford last_img read more

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Brundidge kicks of CDBC water, demolition projects

first_img You Might Like No decision made in youthful offender status No decision has been made in the bond reduction or youthful offender status of Deanna McLeod – the woman accused… read more Book Nook to reopen Latest Stories By Jaine Treadwell “When this project is completed, the only sections that remain with 4-inch water lines will be in the Oak and Lee street areas,” Thomas said.The cost of the two projects will be $406,000+ with the cost to the city at $56,598.Construction costs for the water line project is estimated at $323,598 and the demolition of the 19 structures at $44,000. Thomas said he has received a request from the state historical commission for information about three of the structures on the demolition list.Thomas said the Brundidge Business Association has asked if the city’s historic Christmas lights could be turned on during the citywide open house on Nov. 15.Thomas said the city will work toward that date but the city is behind its normal schedule since many of the decorations were damaged recently when the building where they were stored was destroyed in a windstorm.The Brundidge City Council meets at 4 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at Brundidge City Hall. The meetings are open to the public. Pike County Sheriff’s Office offering community child ID kits Plans underway for historic Pike County celebration Email the author Following the swearing in of newly elected city officials and an organizational meeting on Monday, the Brundidge City Council worked from a short agenda at its regular meeting on Tuesday.The city has been approved for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) for the demolition of 19 dilapidated structures within the city and the replacement of 4-inch water lines in the Caldwell Subdivision and 3-inch galvanized water lines in the housing authority property.City Manager Britt Thomas said the 3-inch and 4-inch water lines are non-compliant and will be replaced with 6-inch lines, which will improve fire fighting capacity. By The Penny Hoarder Brundidge kicks of CDBC water, demolition projects Sponsored Content Thomas said for the city to comply it must send out procurement packages for administrative services and for engineering services.The council voted to award the administrative services for the CDBG project to Monroe and Associates in the amount of $40,000 and the engineering services to Polyengineering in the amount of $43,000.Thomas said the city probably will not be ready to advertise for bids for the projects until February.“Once we get started, things should go rather quickly,” he said. However, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Alabama Historical Commission will have to sign off on the projects before they begin. Print Article Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, November 6, 2012 Penny Hoarder Issues “Urgent” Alert: 6 Companies Are… Skip Remember America’s heroes on Memorial Day Troy falls to No. 13 Clemson Around the WebMd: Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch)Blood Sugar BlasterIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingHave an Enlarged Prostate? Urologist Reveals: Do This Immediately (Watch)Healthier LivingWomen Only: Stretch This Muscle to Stop Bladder Leakage (Watch)Healthier LivingRemoving Moles & Skin Tags Has Never Been This EasyEssential HealthGet Fortnite SkinsTCGThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancellast_img read more

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Local FSA office encourages celebration of Ag Day

first_img The Alabama Farm Service Agency (FSA) is joining other farm service agencies across the country in encouraging all Americans to take a moment to celebrate agriculture on March 19, National Ag Day.“During these turbulent fiscal times, we should all take a few minutes to celebrate agriculture and honor our hard-working farmers and ranchers here in Alabama and across the nation,” said Jeff Knotts, FSA Pike County executive director. “The theme of National Ag Day this year is ‘Generations Nourishing Generations.’ According to recent USDA studies, the agricultural sector right now remains a bright spot in terms of economic stability and growth and there is a strong demand for United State agricultural products.”Knotts said that generation after generation of agricultural producers in Alabama are getting up early every day to provide the food, fiber and fuel that feed and clothe Americans and people around the world. Pike County Sheriff’s Office offering community child ID kits Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, March 13, 2013 Remember America’s heroes on Memorial Day Next Up“As research advances, the future may be even brighter,” Knotts said. “New uses for agriculture produces are being found to utilize natural ingredients for life-saving medicines and supply the critical commodities required in a long list of manufacturing sectors.”Even though there was an onslaught of natural disasters this past year, Knotts said that farmers and ranchers weathered the storms.“These natural disasters created less than ideal growing conditions for producers but they still managed to grow the commodities that keep our economy moving forward,” he said. “And, they maintain our abundant supply of renewable resources in an environmentally sensitive manner.” Around the WebMd: Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch)Blood Sugar BlasterIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingHave an Enlarged Prostate? Urologist Reveals: Do This Immediately (Watch)Healthier LivingWomen Only: Stretch This Muscle to Stop Bladder Leakage (Watch)Healthier LivingRemoving Moles & Skin Tags Has Never Been This EasyEssential HealthTop 4 Methods to Get Fortnite SkinsTCGThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancel Local FSA office encourages celebration of Ag Day Book Nook to reopen Print Article Sponsored Content Troy falls to No. 13 Clemsoncenter_img Email the author Plans underway for historic Pike County celebration Knotts said that each American farmer produces enough food to feed more than 144 people.“That’s a dramatic increase from the 25 people a farmer sustained in 1960,” Knotts said. “These increased efficiencies demonstrate that American agriculture is producing more and doing it better than ever before. By Jaine Treadwell You Might Like History ‘turned’ at the Pioneer Museum Sherry Burkhalter, right, discussed the detailed quilting patterns on a quilt from around 1850. Burkhalter presented a Quilt Turning at… read more By The Penny Hoarder The Penny Hoarder Issues “Urgent” Alert: 6 Companies… “For the life sustaining efforts of our farmers and ranchers, we honor Alabama agricultural producers for their vital contributions.” Latest Storieslast_img read more

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Couple in their 90s reunited after being separated for a year due to COVID-19

first_imgRosemary ByrneBy Haley Yamada and Eric Noll(ST LOUIS, Mo.) — Together again, at last.Virginia, 95, and Jack Byrne, 94, were able to celebrate their 72nd wedding anniversary in person after spending more than a year apart.According to their daughter, Rosemary Byrne, since her father lives in a memory care facility and her mother lives on her own, the two have not been able to see each other due to COVID-19 restrictions.On March 19, the couple reunited at McKnight Place Assisted Living and Memory Care in St. Louis, Missouri.Rosemary Byrne wrote “World News Tonight” to deliver the good news.“As my Mom was waiting to see my Dad, she said, ‘Each minute feels like an hour. I’m as nervous as a schoolgirl,’” Rosemary Byrne wrote.On Thursday, Virginia Byrne told “World News Tonight” about the long awaited hug she had with her husband.“The lights went on again in my life, because I was able to be so close to my husband for the first time in more than a year,” Virginia Byrne said. “I looked into his eyes, and his eyes sparkled as they always did when we were close together.”“It was a wonderful moment. I could hardly let go,” she added.Virginia Byrne said the couple is back together again and that she hopes that others will also have heartwarming reunions soon.“I’m hopeful that now many people will be able to share this kind of moment as vaccinations conquer this robber of togetherness,” she said.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Jordan Love and Bradlee Anae Selected For State Farm Football Challenge

first_imgJanuary 23, 2020 /Sports News – Local Jordan Love and Bradlee Anae Selected For State Farm Football Challenge Tags: Bradlee Anae/Jordan Love Written by FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailLOGAN, Utah-Former Utah State football quarterback Jordan Love and former Utah defensive end Bradlee Anae  have been selected to participate in the 2020 State Farm All-Star Football Challenge at AT&T Stadium at Arlington, Texas Friday January 31.This skills competition features 24 of college football’s biggest stars while Love and Anae are the only ones representing Beehive State schools.During his collegiate career at Utah State, Love posted a school-record 9,003 yards of total offense.Love completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 8,600 yards, 60 touchdowns and 29 interceptions during his career with the Aggies.He also went 21-11 (.656) as Utah State’s quarterback and is second in school history with three career 400-passing yard games.Anae amassed 29.5 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, three passes defensed , 40 tackles for a loss and 131 total tackles during his collegiate career with the Utes.Other college football stars to compete at this event include Drew Brees, Patrick Mahomes, Jalen Ramsey and Von Miller, among others. Brad Jameslast_img read more

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Ousted Oxford MP to be awarded peerage

first_imgThe former MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, Nicola Blackwood, is to be granted a peerage and a return to government, according to the Mail on Sunday.Nicola Blackwood served as a Minister in the Department of Health before losing her seat to Liberal Democrat Layla Moran in the 2017 election, and has since been working as a senior advisor for healthcare projects at the lobbying firm Global Counsel.The Mail on Sunday reports that Ms. Blackwood is expected to return to her role as a Minister in the Department of Health and Social Care after the Christmas recess, despite losing her parliamentary seat 18 months ago.Nicola Blackwood’s Global Counsel page highlights her “background in political office” and “experience from the health sector”, noting that she works for the firm on “policy areas related to technology and healthcare.”Last February Ms. Blackwood was cleared by Parliament’s anti-corruption watchdog, the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, to take jobs in the private sector on the condition that her employers would not unfairly benefit from her time in office.Ms. Blackwood subsequently took paid roles at Policy, a firm which helps private sector companies get contracts in public services, and Eagle Genomics, a biotechnology consultant. She is also on the board of directors of the lobbying group Campaign for Science and Engineering.Global Counsel serves a number of companies in the private sector with political interests, such as energy giant Centrica, which successfully lobbied for the government to ease restrictions on fracking.The director of Spinwatch, a group which campaigns for transparency in lobbying, David Miller told Cherwell: “This is the latest in a long line of revolving door appointments involving public servants who go on to work for private clients in the lobbying world. There is no effective regulation of this and it is simply unacceptable for lobbyists to be appointed as government ministers in this way.“Reforms are needed to the registration and regulation of lobbyists to make such issues clearer, and we need to abolish the totally inadequate system via [the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments] and introduce much stricter rules on the revolving door and conflicts of interest in order to protect the public interest in such matters.”Global Counsel’s chairman is Peter Mandelson, who served as a minister under Tony Blair before losing his seat and subsequently returning to government as a peer.Ms. Blackwood and the Oxfordshire Conservatives have been contacted for comment.last_img read more

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