Hope & Crosby On The Road Again

At the annual budget meeting held on 9/19/ 2012 the WPB City Commissioners placed $10,000.00 in the budget to be used for travel expenses. The budget passed unanimously.

11/2012 Commissioners Robinson & James traveled to Orlando and spent a combined total of $1,450.45 of which $460.77 was spent on gas, tolls, and parking.

11/2012 Both Commissioners traveled to Boston, Mass. and spent a combined total of $5,396.05 of which $37.00 was spent on taxi’s.

3/2013 Both Commissioners traveled to Washington, DC and spent a total of $5,221.57 of which $239.77 was spent on taxi’s.

With these 3 trips Commissioners Robinson & James spent a total of $12,068.07 or $2,068.07 over budget. $737.54 was for gas, tolls, parking and taxi’s. Now is the time to remind taxpayers each Commissioner receives $500.00 a month for “car allowance” and obviously not to be spent on gas, tolls, parking or taxi’s. Commissioner Robinson has collected in excess of $66,000.00 since 1999 and James $18,000.00 of taxpayer money for their “car allowance” to date.

Sept. 2013 Lets place another taxpayer funded $10,000.00 in the Travel Budget.

Nov. 2013 Commissioner Robinson & James traveled to Seattle, Washington and spent a combined total of $5,766.51 of which $89.00 was spent on taxi’s.

On 2/24/ 2014 at 10:00 AM The Mayor/Commission Work Session was held.and #2 item on the agenda was “Expenditures for Travel and Training” and Commissioner James informed all present Commissioner Robinson and he was traveling back to Washington, DC for another National League of Cities Convention. If the commissioners spend what they spent in March 2013 they will once again be over budget. Commissioner James said the extra needed funds would come from their discretionary funds. All Commissioners receive $3,200.00 a year taxpayer dollars to be used as they see fit.

The conventions these 2 commissioners travel too are for the National League of Cities, or the Florida League of Cities. Here is an example of what the Fl. League of Cities try to accomplish for politicians in our state. A story in the PB Post reads: “Clemens ethics bill draws heat” A bill filed by Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth is drawing heat for clashing with a tougher ethics standard for public officials passed in 2013, and hailed by Republican leaders as one of the top achievements of the year. Clemens proposal (SB 606) which he says was sought by the “Florida League of Cities,” would lift most gift-reporting requirements for elected officials and public employees; shield officials from ethics complaints if they acted after getting advice from a lawyer; and allow for penalties of up to $5,000.00 against someone who files a complaint “with malicious intent.” With 3 county and 2 city commission sent to federal prison for corruption and residents working long and hard to establish the Office of Inspector General, and the PBC Commission on Ethics this is what the league tries to accomplish. Is this why Commissioners Robinson and James are traveling, to support the legislation?

When the “Travel Budget” was introduced it was with the understanding the commissioners would discuss the travel plans and vote on it at a “public meeting” where residents would have input. Their travel plans were never discussed at a City Commission meeting which is held every other Monday @ 5:00 PM and would allow residents to attend after work and more important have the right to make comments. These commissioners discuss their travel plans at a Mayor/ Commission Work Session held at 10:00 AM ( I was the only resident in attendance) and public comment is not allowed. I asked The mayor and Commissioner James if the upcoming trip to Washington, DC would be discussed at the City Commission meeting and was told no it would not because they had a consensus at todays work session. Commissioner Moffett was absent along with Commissioner Mitchell, so the consensus was with Materio, and the two taking the trip, James and Robinson.

The only feedback taxpayers who are funding the travel ever received was from Ike Robinson who mentioned a letter sent by Mayor Muoio to Rep Frankel and Murphy at their Washington office was not received by either of the Representatives. Both have offices on Military Trail and it cost the taxpayers over $5,200.00 to find out this information. Shame, shame, shame on these commissioners. They don’t know the meaning.