Friday, May 18, 2007

Expense Reports...

The Cooper City staff should compile a report of credit card usage and/or reimbursement by elected officials and city staff and employees, and post it on the city website. In the interest of making this public record available to the public as soon as possible, I'm giving you exactly what you asked for without the benefit of any particular analysis...accountability. All of the charges which are called into question should have a logical explanation.

There should be a few apparent lapses which are for the most part where I expect they might be, for example: the wining and dining on the taxpayer's dime for the past fifteen years before Commission meetings.

But, not taking into consideration the errors and omissions dealing with the administration and elected officials, the rest of the department reports should, for the most part, be pretty mundane. I think the city needs to reconsider whether our policies are appropriate of providing food for public events and meals while employees and elected officials work or meet under any circumstance. Also, we need to look at whether our policy for paying for meals during which city business is conducted at any function whatsoever needs to be changed and omitted. The 'slush fund' must be destroyed...

My conclusion for moving forward is that we need to change procedures so that future public records requests can be filled immediately without delay or excuses, and a detailed list of those requests should also be posted on the city website for all to see. A detailed explanation should be immediately available, with supporting documentation, including those requested by anyone outside of law enforcement. Every charge must be explained in the detailed report even if it takes several weeks, and hundreds of staff hours to produce the report. City leadership also needs to lead by example, and reform our method of operation as well. We shall see if the city is willing to be an open and honest government.

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