In several meetings this week with City Attorney Mike Aguirre and members of the mayor’s staff, the board members of the Little Italy Association struck an agreement in order to again receive the business improvement and maintenance funds that it stopped receiving three weeks ago.
Under the agreement, Marco Li Mandri, whose firm New City America is under contract with the neighborhood as development consultant, will no longer have a seat on the neighborhood group’s board. He had been named the executive director.
In a statement last week, Aguirre said the fact that Li Mandri’s office had been served with a search warrant necessitated extra examination of the Little Italy Association. Li Mandri said the sealed warrant has nothing to do with Little Italy.
Little Italy Association Secretary Tom Di Zinno said today the change is in name only; Li Mandri’s firm will continue running the maintenance and development operations of the neighborhood as a paid consultant while the board operates independently. New City America’s contract will have to be stopped and re-voted on by the board minus Li Mandri, he said.
Di Zinno said his sense of Aguirre’s hold-up in funding was because of an “appearance of impropriety.”
Di Zinno, who acts as spokesman for the business association, said they’re pleased with the agreement, especially because they’ve now received the funding that had been held up.