I am glad the Independent reported on the city council decision to reimburse council members
the cost of attending certain social events (“City Picks Up the Tab for Events,” Feb. 17 edition).
It would have been easy to say “yes, but it’s only $450” and let the principle of the matter slide. (So much for the story of Abraham Lincoln walking 40 or 50 miles to return a penny he borrowed.)
That said, I would have liked to see the article point out that the agenda bill went beyond earmarking $450 of taxpayer money for social events and that it specified which events are now reimbursable. Five events were listed as reimbursable and three of them are Chamber of Commerce events. It’s highly undemocratic to specify that certain organization’s events are reimbursable with taxpayer money. Who made that decision and what about the 100 or so other nonprofits that hold events?
We need the local press to report more on actions like this one. Keep up the good work.
Editor’s Note: Ultimately, the council excised earmarking allowable events, giving elected officials discretion the funds.