Monday, December 14, 2009

SEWRPC Soiree Freebie: An Update And Questions

It was late Friday afternoon - - always a curious time slot for the release of troublesome news - - when the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission emailed information about who ate what at the agency's $1,000-taxpayer-paid University Club dinner that I disclosed last week on this blog.

Additional information was released to blogger Gretchen Schuldt.

So in case you missed these postings, and the comments, I'll direct you to one summary posting here that addresses and expands on the salient details, including:

The menu (beef tenderloin/cordon bleu/truffle cake);

The costs (information from SEWRPC that in the last five years these dinners cost taxpayers $5,299;

The open meeting issue: (a quorum of commissioners - - 13 of 21 attended the dinner - - along with quorums of all four SEWRPC standing committees - - but no public notice of the event was posted.

So this week, let's focus on some of the major issues still to be addressed:

1. Should there have been a public notice?

2. Was the use of taxpayer funds appropriate?

3. Will any commissioner, staffer or consultant be moved to return to SEWRPC's 100%-taxpayer provided budget an average dinner share of $60?

Stay tuned for answers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hold on to your duppa! there is another big spender in town!

James do you want to roll this in to your current series on the SEWRPC? People really need to know what is going on, especially during these hard economic times!!!

Grothman blasts WHEDA for $1,400 of flowers
By Patrick Marley of the Journal Sentinel
Dec. 4, 2009

Madison -- A state senator is accusing the state's housing authority of wasting money by spending $1,400 on floral arrangements for an employee holiday party.

"They just don't get it," said Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), who sits on the board of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority.

Grothman released a document Friday showing the agency is spending $1,400 on "floral decorations for holiday reception."

"People in this state are really suffering and while this may seem a small amount to you, it just continues to show that government has not adjusted their behavior to fit the economy," Grothman said in a Thursday letter to Antonio Riley, the executive director of the authority.

Grothman said Friday the money should instead be given to the Madison Salvation Army shelter to help people who have no housing.

Kate Venne, a spokeswoman for the authority, did not have immediate contact.

Perry Armstrong, chairman of the authority board, did not immediately return a call.