Sunday, June 12, 2011

IT JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER: CJ OUTLINES SOME SPENDING ISSUES

A longtime critic of the CJ myself I have to admit that maybe just maybe there is a glimmer of some sort of hope that they are finally doing their job. And maybe not. The CJ's Dan Klepal today had a story on the spending habits of the Metro Council and none of it was shocking but it is good to finally see mainstream get involved in the fight for accountability.

You can read the article in question here:
Louisville Metro Council sticks taxpayers with $110,000 tab for food purchases The Courier-Journal courier-journal.com

While some would argue what's wrong with this the majority will argue the truth. Simply the Council members, primarily the Democratic majority like to spend our money as their own reelection slush fund. There can be no other way to present it.

According to the CJ Council members, primarily Democrats spend lavishly with OUR tax money to buy votes by using our tax money to pay for meals at their obligated events. Yes obligated. A council member is obligated to meet with their constituents and address their concerns but in an ethical financially responsible way.

There is nothing ethical about some of these expenditures.

Anyone who thinks different doesn't understand the responsibility of the job which these folks have been elected to.

Many questions arise from this atrocity with our tax dollars. Take for example this from the article:

Council members have bought food from any number of suppliers, but none more than Kroger, where about $51,000 in taxpayer money has been spent since fiscal 2007-08.

According to business manager Tracy Gaines,
"..the grocery chain no longer issues credit cards for new council members, citing late payments because of lost receipts or documentation being turned in late by council offices.

“Kroger has complained frequently about concerns over late payments.

But council members who already had cards can still use them."

So now equality is gone as well from the Council. If you are a council member prior to Kroger stopping these cards keep doing what you are doing. A new council member does not have an equal footing. This inequality is just one example of what is wrong with this Council and the mindset of Council Democrats.

Another interesting fact? Anyone who refuses to believe that these Council members are not using this as their personal slush fund to gain political favor think again.

Another top vendor is Clarence Yancey, a western Louisville political activist who routinely passes out handbills to voters with the names of the politicians he supports.

Unseld, Green, Tandy and Cheri Bryant Hamilton have had Yancey cater events, paying his company more than $7,000 in the past 31/2 years.

I have outlined Yancey in previous articles but I will make this clear. If you want help in the West End districts you better help Yancey. You do that by paying him with seemingly legit expenses. One thing not mentioned in the article online is the picture that appears in the print edition clearly showing Yancey next to David Tandy wearing a David Tandy shirt.

No symbolism there is there?

But Yancey said his politics have nothing to do with the catering work he gets from council members.

Riiiiight. And pigs fly south for the winter.

Take another example from former Councilman Deonte Hollowell who spent nearly $7,000 on food in the short amount of time he was on the Council. What did he say about it

“I was told it was something Unseld did,” Hollowell said of the food purchases.

That is unacceptable for all of us or should be. This statement is alarming in the fact that we are to believe that this is the way it has always been done so that makes it okay. I agree with Hollowel that yep it probably has always been done this way. Look no further than Abramson to see how the game is laid out then played by the hacks.
It doesn't, however, make it right or excuse the behavior of those in office.

So here is the deal. Each Council member gets paid over $42,000 a year. For PART TIME work. I won't even delve into the LA's at this point though some will be mentioned in future articles eh Marty Meyer and David Yates?

The real question is why is there no accountability for the spending of ALL of our tax dollars? To Tandy, Green, Hamilton, and the rest? The money you spend is ALL of ours not just your District. You have a fiduciary responsibility to each tax paying citizen of this Metro for spending our money fairly and ethically.

You have a part time job that pays more than most full time jobs in Louisville and should be taking care of each of us accordingly.

I want a check written to each taxpaying citizen in Louisville written right now to reimburse us for what you guys spend on yourselves.

I won't hold my breath but I do have a solution as I have presented before.

Get rid of the Kroger cards and all of the $205,000 annual monies given to Council members each year to use as they wish. Many will argue that that isn't allowed but when you can move monies from any of 3 accounts at will, or carry the balance over to the next year creating a nest egg, well it does matter.

Doing so will save we the taxpayers $5.3 million per year. How far will that go to eliminating furloughs and balancing the budget?

For those who will whine that the Council must have some funds I will meet you halfway.

Give the Council a General fund of 10% of that total. This equates to $533,000 per year. But there is a caveat.

Every expenditure MUST be voted on by the entire Council. Period. Then we have a full accounting of our monies to All of the taxpaying citizens of our community. The Council will also have a reasonable resource to draw from for legitimate expenditures.

Seems logical doesn't it?

For the Council members who say they need these funds because sometimes the process takes too long or doesn't allow for some expenditures their particular districts may need?

Do your job and fix the process.

It is long past time to allow these flimsy excuses by Council members and politicians who get caught abusing the public trust. Change the process and the guidelines to make it fairer and more accountable for all of us.

Maybe that means paying yourselves $20,000 a year for part time work or making the issue of a Council member a full time job and earn the $42,000 plus we pay you. It is good enough for the majority of us that rely on you then it should be good enough for you as well.

Doing so would eliminate the need for some of the overpaid LA's in your offices thus saving us even more money. It most certainly would eliminate that whole concept recently used by Judy Green of plausible deniability when she fraudulently blamed her former LA for her troubles.

But of course none of this will happen if we the people don't stand together and demand it.

You know where I stand, what say ye?

3 comments:

  1. DEMOCRAT Total = $85,305.73 or 76.90%
    REPUBLICAN Total = $15,033.78 or 13.55%
    OFFICE Total = $10,598.18 or 9.55%
    Grand Total = $110,937.69 or 100.00%

    ReplyDelete
  2. Not only did Engel spend over $700 for a drinking water service that is denied to regular employees, he also was reimbursed for a $25 gift card for his legislative aid "for her assistance with extra services provided to our health initiative."

    ReplyDelete
  3. I say you hit the nail on the head Ed. It is time we take back our city, enough is enough. This BS with Council memberGreen has me wanting to bite nails in to. The new mayor needs to step up to plate and end all of this. If he is man enough and hasn't been bought already. Politicians....Uggg.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for reading LNP. Open and honest discussions of local politics and relevant issues is important to voter understanding. Please listen to the "Ed Springston Show". We broadcast Monday through Thursday evenings at 7 PM on local media outlets. Please check for the links.
Yours truly,
Ed Springston

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