Saturday, December 12, 2009

SEWRPC Soiree: Cordon Bleu, Beef Tenderloin, And Truffle Desserts For Everyone

It's like your rich uncle came to town and took the whole family to a fancy holiday dinner and the kids found out they could even order dessert.

That's what the billing records looked like after taxpayers played the rich uncle and picked up the tab for 14 Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commissioners and three staffers or consultants, according to SEWRPC records provided to blogger Gretchen Schuldt.

She asked smart follow questions about the agency's taxpayer-paid annual soiree ten days ago at The University Club that I disclosed last week on my blog, also with information provided by SEWRPC.

What was on the menu?

Cordon bleu and beef tenderloin for main courses, 17 servings of truffle cake, too.

The issue of who paid for the booze is a good news, bad news situation.

Attendees bought their own alcoholic drinks - - but knocked back twenty-four of them, which suggests some people at the dinner had more than one, and given their age, weight and body chemistries may have gotten behind the wheel with measurable BAC's.

Not what any organization wants after its Christmas party or annual dinner, regardless of who paid for what.

Plus: ff the dinner turns out to have been an official commission or committee (s) meeting, given that the commission has 21 members, and the standing committees even fewer, the alcohol consumption is going to make a bad, not-properly noticed public meeting even worse.

The bill was $995.47 - - and in a separate posting on my blog summing up the disclosures - - $5,300 at similar dinners the past five years, topping out in one year at more than $1,300..

Schuldt's posting has more interesting tidbits:

Among those attending the dinner were former, long-time SEWRPC Executive Director Kurt Bauer - - now the Milwaukee County surveyor and a SEWRPC consultant - - and Milwaukee County Board Chairman Lee Holloway.

He is a former SEWRPC commissioner who ended his active relationship with SEWRPC in June, 2008, according to Schuldt.

Supervisor John Weishan, Holloway's replacement formally named this year, also attended, as did Brian Dranzik, a county public works bureaucrat.

Weishan is an appointee of Gov. Jim Doyle; Dranzik represents County Executive Scott Walker: the commissioner-appointing authority is shared by the agency's seven-member counties and the Governor's office.

So it seems that regardless of affiliation, political party or appointing authority or tenure, everyone helped her or himself to a healthy portion at the public trought.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Could it possibly be any more Dickensian?

the merry gathering of well-fed gentlemen enjoying a tankard of ale and a hearty meal of roast beast in the richly-appointed and paneled surroundings of the University Club, the warmth of a crackling fire, the din of many conversations, the good smells from the feast and the brandied breath of these gentlemen mingling and steaming up the windows at each corner . . .

as the poor taxpayers, the disenfranchised Milwaukeans, the hungry, the jobless, the homeless stand outside in the cold and press their noses to the windows, wondering what one little bite of truffle cake or a forkful of tender, tasty roast beast might be like . . . .