GY Council’s 5 Day $9,000 DC Junket


Wally, Pizzillo, Lauritano, and Stipp. True fiscal conservatives and exceptional stewards of your money.

After Georgia’s more than $2,000 trip to Washington a few months ago to fete Barney Frank and other liberals was exposed in this blog (Mrs. Lord Goes to Washington) , wouldn’t you expect other city council members to think twice about spending your tax dollars on out of town junkets to far away places like Washington, DC while Goodyear tilts on the edge of bankruptcy with $300 million of debt? According to recent statements by Goodyear’s Finance Department, Goodyear is in such poor fiscal shape that GY is unable to borrow money “for the next five years”. Money is so tight in Goodyear that city employees haven’t had a raise in years.

City employees, are you finally getting this?

March 10 to 14, four of the seven dwarfs set out to Washington DC, at least one (Lauritano) with her husband in tow*, for a five day trip to our nation’s capital to attend the National League of Cities Congressional Conference. Here is the agenda for this year’s event at the Marriot Wardman Park Hotel. 2012-ccc-program-book If it was such an important show going on that would benefit the citizens of Goodyear by their attendance, couldn’t just ONE of them have gone and reported back to the rest? Nope, FOUR out of seven GY council members (Wally, Pizzillo, Lauritano, Stipp) traveled to DC for 5 days and spent somewhere north of $9,053.56 of your tax dollars.

Here are the expense records for the four of them. DC Road Trip Exp Rpts0001 And of course it appears that city employee Cindy Mason made all the travel arrangements. You wouldn’t expect big important folks like GY council members to make their own airline, hotel, and conference reservations now, would you?

What did Sheri, Joe, Wally, and Bill do for five days in DC?

I really don’t know. That is because although I requested trip reports for their activities while on the tax payer’s dime, according to the city clerk’s office, trip reports, “were not required”. Whatever it was that was so important that four of them had to go for, was not important enough for them to report back to you or anyone else about. Have you heard of any of them applying anything they learned at the conference since they’ve been back? Me neither.

A Political Meeting for Politicians

One look at the program book tells you that this conference is all about helping politicians continue to be politicians. There are lots of “leadership” seminars with titles like, “The Five Powers of Public Leadership”, and “Influencing with Integrity”. Or how about, “Managing your Message”? Yeah, a better message in Goodyear would help out all these folks but fixing things first would work a whole lot better for tax payers.

There were seminars with the “Sustainable Cities Institute”. Workshops on, “the housing debacle” led by executives from The Center for Housing Policy (lobbyist) and the Bipartisan Policy Center (lobbyist). More workshops on financing water and transportation (but GY can’t borrow any money), and a general session headed up by Avondale mayor Lopez Rogers where a couple of Obama’s cabinet folks spoke. There were networking lunches, networking breakfasts, probably even networking networks (lobbyists, lobbyists, lobbyists).

And clean energy seminars. How to give tax money away to pick winners, most of whom will fail, in risky emerging technologies. Why the GY folks could have given speeches at that one. Maybe they did, but I don’t know because they, “weren’t required” to write a trip report to justify their taxpayer expense.

And finally, breakfasts and luncheons as part of the conference! But wait a minute, didn’t each of them get per diem expenses of over $75 per day for meals?

Oh well, it’s only (your) money. And did I mention that Goodyear will have a budget meeting for citizen comments on May 2 at 6 pm?

* hotel bill indicates Lauritano and her husband were registered

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2 Responses

  1. All I can say is totally disgusting and the mental midgets could not even be bothered to write a little trip report for us lowly taxpayers???Wow. Who is this Pauline Lillian I see listed on Wally’s ticket along with Wally? Another city employee? What a complete boondoogle. Seems like sending that many of the seven dwarfs violates the open meeting laws, haha. No matter if the story hits azcentral.com we can count on the councilmember posing as “freedomtrain” to put a positive spin on it, not!

  2. Sorry I got so frustrated I typed boondoogle instead of boondoggle!

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