Friday, December 16, 2011

SEWRPC Discloses Attendance At Annual Taxpayer-Paid Dinner, Meeting Fee Payments

In answer to questions I had submitted earlier this month, Ken Yunker, Executive Director of the 21-member Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (seven counties provide three commissioners each), supplied by email Thursday two lists related to Commission meetings and functions.

*  The first list: Which commissioners  - - 14 of 21 it turns out - - attended the agency's recent, end-of-the-year annual taxpayer-paid party on December 7th. In past years, Yunker has said the dinners cost about $1,000 in commission funds.

Yunker also supplied the names of other 2011 dinner attendees.

*  The second list: Which commissioners had received $50-per-meeting fees to which they are entitled if they request, and for how many meetings. Commissioners draw no salaries. The agency budget, Table 3, provides $15,000 annually for commissioner fees.

The dinner attendance information begs two questions:

If two-thirds of the commissioners attend a dinner that convenes following SEWRPC's last quarterly meeting, isn't the dinner essentially either an extension of that meeting, or a gathering that constitutes another one?

And in either case, should that dinner be open to all, and subject to the requirements of the Wisconsin Open Meetings and Records laws with their mandates for proper advance notification, a published agenda, plus recorded and published minutes?

Previous dinners, as I have tried to track them, have met none of these standards.

SEWRPC is a public body operating under a grant of state legislative authority, and receives 100% of its budget from public sources.

The second list sent by Yunker shows that 19 commissioner have accepted $50-per-meeting payments during 2011 ranging from one payment to 27.

Five commissioners received at least 22 or more payments that would total at least $1,100, the SEWRPC accounting shows.

Background and data on the dinner issue is here.

The commissioners attending the dinner were:

Commissioners in Attendance
Kimberly L. Breunig
Thomas H. Buestrin
Michael A. Crowley
José M. Delgado
William R. Drew
James T. Dwyer
Adelene Greene
William E. Johnson
Robert W. Pitts
Daniel S. Schmidt
Peggy Shumway
Daniel W. Stoffel
David L. Stroik
Gustav W. Wirth, Jr.

Former Commissioners in Attendance

Susan G. Greenfield
Richard A. Hansen
Paul G. Vrakas
Staff in Attendance

Kurt W. Bauer
Kenneth R. Yunker
Debra A. D’Amico

Commissioners Receiving Meeting Fees (1/1/11 through 12/31/11) 
Gilbert B. Bakke – 24 meetings
Kimberly L. Breunig – 2 meetings
Thomas H. Buestrin – 24 meetings
Charles L. Colman – 1 meeting
Michael A. Crowley – 1 meeting
Jos̩ M. Delgado Р4 meetings
David L. Eberle – 2 meetings
Adelene Greene – 9 meetings
Susan S. Greenfield – 2 meetings
William E. Johnson – 8 meetings
Robert W. Pitts – 9 meetings
Daniel S. Schmidt – 27 meetings
Linda J. Seemeyer – 4 meetings
Peggy Shumway – 4 meetings
Daniel W. Stoffel – 7 meetings
David L. Stroik – 27 meetings
Paul G. Vrakas – 6 meetings
John F. Weishan, Jr. – 18 meetings
Gustav W. Wirth, Jr. – 22 meetings
Commissioners Declining Meeting Fees (1/1/11 through 12/31/11)
William R. Drew – 19 meetings
James T. Dwyer – 21 meetings
Adelene Greene – 7 meetings
Richard A. Hansen – 1 meeting
John Rogers – 4 meetings
Nancy Russell – 27 meetings

No comments: