Hooters! Eating Out on the Taxpayers of City of Glen Rose's dime
Out of Oakdale Account
Hooters! Eating Out on the Taxpayers of City of Glen Rose's dime
9 July 2010 at 3:18:57 PM
I've been occasionally going down to the city offices to look at receipts on the check register. (Thank you, Peggy B!) The check registers have a brief notation for what an expense is, but, particularly when it's a credit card bill, you MUST look at the breakdown to see how money is being spent. I plan to another post today or tomorrow with a number of receipts, and by no means am I saying that most of them aren't legitimate.
But ... HOOTERS?
Here's the credit card statement. There are also a couple MORE eating-out receipts, Chili's in Granbury and Three Rivers.
My question. Does everybody in the city get their lunch paid for? how many people regularly dine out at lunch at Hooters? WHO okayed this? Note that it is in the Oakdale Park category. How is the money that is coming from the bonds that is paying for Oakdale kept separate from stuff like lunches? Or is it?
P.P.S. I was wondering why there isn't anything listed for what was purchased, as in a breakdown specifically of what was eaten and drunk, tips, etc. Other receipts that I have or am about to list show what was purchased. I asked the city secretary about this, who was very helpful to me in getting the receipts, on the off chance that I somehow missed the itemized receipt when I was looking at the file. She told me:
No that is the only one I have
Since the other meals were also purchased with the same credit card and had itemized receipts, why not this one?
UPDATE: I have been told that the number of people on this Hooter's bill was actually THREE, not TWO and so the amount is more in line with what one might pay for lunch for three people. Hang on a moment... have to find my Official Clairvoyant's Cap.. because, um, the receipt says TWO guests. And guess what, since nobody is making these people turn in WHAT THEY ATE, anybody can make up anything about what it was or how many people. You want to prove it's three people instead of two EVEN THOUGH THE RECEIPT SAYS TWO? Cough up the part of the receipt with what was actually eaten, please.
This is not uncommon. I have observed and seen enough city credit card receipts to know that Hooters will show up from time to time. I have seen this charge for this establishment on receipts turned in by police chiefs, polices supervisors, police officers, and firefighters when involved in traveling to training, schools, or other official business.
This is being taken from the BOND money that is supposed to be used for Oakdale. It is not supposed to be spent at Hooters for the City of Glen Rose employees to eat and drink out on the town (not even our town).
I seriously believe that you do NOT rack up a $48 bill from Hooters with 2 people unless you are drinking beer. Since the City of Glen Rose did not require the employee give them the actual receipt showing the individual expenses (whether there was alcohol bought or not) then they cannot say they were or were not drinking alcohol and then driving back to Glen Rose from Fort Worth...all while being paid for by the City of Glen Rose.
I did put a call into the Hooters in question. They cannot go back to April for receipts but they can with a much shorter timeline for future inquiries.
@Texlib-It's not merely that it is Hooters, it is that city money is being spent for some guy (or guys) to go to lunch on the city's dime. The fact that they went to Hooters is, yeah, worse to me than if they went, say to Chilis. (I also have a receipt for Chilis). But I don't want the idea that they went to Hooters to obscure the main idea of whether the city approves of money charged to the Oakdale Park account to be spent on lunches. Why was this expense approved? I'm also going to look again when I post the other receipts, but seems to me the other lunch receipts show what the person(s) actually ate.
Sure would be nice if you had a City Manager or City Manager to catch stuff like this,,,,,,, but wait perhaps that is one of the numerous reasons one is not wanted. Although I no longer live in GR or Somervell county...I appreciate the vigiliance that you have Salon. keep it up KUDOS
City Employees have been doing this for years. Remember when our mayor (Connie) used a city card in a casino? They cannot be trusted wtih credit cards and yet we continue to give them out. Nothing new here.
I do not remember for sure whether the mayor got it charged or not, nor if she got it charged, if she had to pay it back, but it seems that the reportedly inebriated mayor tried to use it to withdraw cash and the casino.I am not sure if she used it multiple times or not but at one point, the casino called back here and the office denied the use or something like that. The city secretary can fill in the details on that if you ask.This is water under the bridge at this point.It merely serves as another point on the continuum of city mismanagement—dare I say corruption.
I really do not know what triggered them to start looking at the records back then. But they did. The Mayor was not the only offender, it was rampant. After looking at the records, the council had most employees hand in their cards and only a few cards were available and those were supposed to be checked out of the office for specific purposes and checked back in. This due to the fact that the employees had continually demonstrated bad judgment.
I can understand that if a city employee is out of town on business during lunch then it is reasonable for the city to pick up lunch -- at Subway or some other place they would go if they had to pay for it themselves. Those bills above look like the people who generated them do not expect to be held accountable.
Why these trips take more than one person is beyond me but just as in yesteryear, if they think that no-one is watching..
It seems that there is a never-ending stream of poor on non-existent leadership. I am not sure if it is apathy, ignorance or just plain neglect but the citizens of this city have continued to elect people that let this happen and/or participate in it. As long as apathy or ignorance or neglect continues. As long as the electorate assumes integrity and good management but does not audit it and demand it, nothing will change. I doubt that this website or that other crazy website can do anything about it. But thanks for trying.
@frederica-At rhe risk of sounding like a broken record, this is WHY the city needs an administrator and it simply cannot be any of the people who are currently in charge. It's disturbing that Mayor Miller continues to attempt to thwart the hiring of an independent administrator, which was already voted on by city council and whose hiring is intricately tied to the CPAC (Comprehensive Planning) money for revamping the city design and codes.
I suspect that you are right about needing an administrator that would run the city like a business, where everyone is held accountable for their actions, their job performance (ala the code enforcement debacle, the failure to put reprimands in supervisor's files etc.) and report to the Mayor/Council.
It is obvious that the current mayor either does not know or does not care.
The problem with an administrator is that if he/she makes people shape up, he/she will be very unpopular with the city employees and they will convince enough voters to vote out the council members that support reform and eventually get her/him fired. That city council that you referenced all got voted out because they were obviously, if you read the records, forcing responsible behavior.But the local religious right and their boys got in office and everything degenerated back to the previous state. This is a cycle that would, I am afraid, repeat.
Of course if a City Administrator is hired, then the scary part is, It will have to be a person of impeccable integrity. I have often thought, that whenever GR or GRISD has brought in someone to fill a position. The individual starts out great guns and then they slowly seem to get corrupted, I don't know maybe they start looking around and seeing things and think, Hey I can get away with this and that. And then when the council or boards try to terminate them, by that time they have become endeared to groups in the town and it causes a major uproar. It really is a vicious circle. I will always love my hometown and for the most part it has some wonderful qualities... one being the majority of the folks that live there. Glen Rose has changed a lot but I am afraid the things that really NEED change won't. Maybe ALL small towns are like this I don't know. Good luck
It's not a given that an administrator would eventually cave to the temptation of corruption. There really are still people out there who are ethical and who care. Make the rules clear and employees will get the message. Afterall, there are lots of other people out there who need these jobs, too.
Councilman Martin's comment that he would be uncomfortable with someone from the 'outside' is flawed thinking...on the contrary (and you can't tell me this isn't one of the main reasons the mayor doesn't want an administrator). What's so frustrating is the council had an experienced person in Larry Shaw to do the initial screening for this postion, but Councilwoman Mitchell blew it and in my opinion, broke the law. I'd also be willing to bet she did this per suggestion of the mayor. This is a serious travesty. Why is this not being addressed?
I am very concerned with the way the Council is heading since the election, it seems to be heading backwards towards a more "good ole boys council". The City is growing and I have said it before when I was running for Council, "we must be prepared for the future". We can keep the charm that we all love here but we cannot put our heads in the sand..
We need people and newspapers that are not afraid to stand up to for the truth.
Well we finally made the big time, if you did not get the Fort Worth paper today you missed the article from Bud Kennedy. Look on page 5 B and read the article on "Small government has its own problems in N. Texas". Bud Kennedy said that "In small-town Texas, asking City Hall a question is like opening 1990's movie character Forrest Gump's box of chocolates."
"Depending on the political mood of the City Council and the level of paranoia at City Hall, you never know what you might - or might not - get" He talked about a resident blogger and gave the Salon blog as a reference in which it was the "first" to publish the receipt of a visit from workers at Oakdale Park from Hooters.
When he asked one of the Council persons about the receipt that person stated that "the food is not expensive and it's not topless". The question should have been why did two workers rack up $48.74 for lunch for food that is not "expensive". Why are workers eating lunch on taxpayers dime anyway, this was not an overnight excursion. Why did they not buy their own lunches? If workers have to eat out on the taxpayers dime them why are they not on a per diem?
What else do we need to look at with a fine tooth comb?
Loved the article, but one correction. Somervell County Salon is THE place that published the receipt; I got the check registers, and went down to look at the receipts and make copies of the ones that seemed, um, egregious.
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