Bangor City Hall is seen Thursday. Credit: Ashley L. Conti / BDN

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I have some advice for the Bangor City Council regarding the distribution of  $20 million in federal monies. I was once in the position as trustee of a foundation to give away $34 million.

That money gives Bangor the opportunity to help a lot of organizations. Many will apply for that help.

The city council needs to not just create a process but create a filter. First step, pick a category of need. It seems like the city has done some of this work already. To me, homelessness stands out as the greatest need in Bangor. Here’s an opportunity to create more affordable housing. Related to homelessness is the opiate crisis so take this opportunity to solve the lack of detox beds. In other words, pick a category and funnel money toward what is most likely to be a solution.

Thirdly, the evaluation process should include site visits. We spent about two hours meeting with the board and key staff at the location of each applicant, visiting 120 organizations in all, and those visits clarified our decisions. That may sound laborious but it was actually inspiring.

Good luck to the Bangor City Council!

Mary Offutt

Little Deer Isle