According to documents just received from the City Clerk of the City of Wildomar, in response to my Public Records Act request, the aforementioned Chamber of Commerce Networking Breakfast was attended by 6 members of city staff, at taxpayers expense, including the following:
1). City Manager
2). City Clerk
5). Two other unidentified personnel
At a cost of $12 per person for “members,” the taxpayers of Wildomar ponied up a total of $72 for a greasy breakfast at a Lake Elsinore greasy spoon for the purpose of “networking.”
While attendance by the City Manager might, under certain circumstances, be appropriate, what possible benefit to the City of Wildomar is attendance by the City Clerk, Planning and Engineering Department personnel, not to mention the loss of employee productivity, while they were absent from their work stations?
In the future, city staffers who are active Chamber members, should be required to pay for their own meals (and submit an expense reimbursement request, justifying a legitimate city business reason to attend) and request time away from their desks by using accrued vacation time, or personal time, or at the very least, Leave Without Pay (“LWOP”).
However, the requested documentation also displayed the exorbitant cost to the City of Wildomar taxpayers for the purchase of not one, but two tables, at the Chamber’s Annual Installation dinner.
On February 11, 2014, the City of Wildomar purchased a table for 8 persons, at a cost of$630, and again on February 25, 2014, paid an additional $580 for another 8 persons to attend the “black tie optional” affair, including the following:
1). City Manager (for two seats)
2). City Clerk
4). Planning Commission (for four seats)
It is likely that the first table for 8 was occupied by City Councilmembers and their spouses for an evening of political piggery at the preeminent political trough and, once again, at the expense of the taxpayers of the City of Wildomar.
If the members of the small but indulgent political clique want to abuse their recommended caloric intake limitations for healthy people (approximately 2000 calories per day), they should do so at their own personal risk and expense.
Suffice it to say that the ultimate responsibility for this unrestrained “snacking attitude” rests with the City Council, and their employers, the voting taxpayers of the City of Wildomar.
Comments can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next time the City Council blames the lack of funding on any City of Wildomar operational deficit, consider their spending habits, their expenditure of more than $1300 for food in February/March alone.
If my memory doesn’t fail me, didn’t the City of Wildomar boast rather loudly about a $1765 surplus at the end of fiscal year 2012? So much for thrift!
For the record, the Press Enterprise reporter is incorrect in stating that the $1700 savings is a “per month” savings, and not an “end of budget” year surplus.