MIDDLE OF THE ROADERS…#4 WEIERS AND #5 SHERWOOD
There is no earth shaking surprise in either of these gentlemen’s budgetary expenditures. Certainly they have not adopted the philosophy or practice of giving your taxpayer dollars away as Chavira, Alvarez and Hugh have done. Mayor Weiers 6 months of expenditures comes in at $14,041.33 and Councilmember Sherwood is not far behind with expenditures of $11,516.37.
It’s common knowledge that they don’t like each other very much as each vies for the title of ultimate power broker in Glendale. They are discussed in unison because they share commonalities when it comes to spending. Both like to travel with each racking up substantial travel expenses and each spent about the same amount for the use of phones whether land line or cell.
Mayor Weiers spent $4,729.15 (33% of his 6 months of expenditures) on travel for 3 trips. In March he and Councilmembers Sherwood and Chavira, staffed by Intergovernmental Director, Brent Stoddard, went to Washington, D.C. for the National League of Cities (NLC) Congressional City Conference. In April Weiers and Stoddard went to Washington, D.C. for the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) Executive Mission. In May Weiers was back in D.C. with Stoddard. If Stoddard’s expenses to staff Weiers and others in D.C. are added those trips become pricier at $8,541.00.
Sherwood spent $3,927.22 (34% of his 6 months of expenditures) on travel as well. If a quarter of Stoddard’s expenses (Stoddard staffed 3 elected officials on the March trip to D.C.) are added, Sherwood’s tab for travel cost the city $5,069.45 in direct and indirect costs. Stoddard typically pays for meals, especially dinners if the elected officials have not been invited by another party. He will pay cab fare and miscellaneous expenses on behalf of the elected officials.
Weiers’ phone bill comes in at $1,259.52 and Sherwood spent $449.10 for his cell and another $789.85 for his land line totaling $1,238.95. Their phone expenditures in 6 months are virtually the same. Is it appropriate to cover their phone expenses? That is a judgment call and something you must decide.The balance of their budgetary expenditures is ordinary and appropriate.
These trips were probably meaningful and were dedicated to lobbying for the city’s interests on issues such as the F-35 to be based at Luke and the casino issue. Everything in D.C. is pricey but we expect moderation. Their lodging and airfare are reasonable for a trip to D.C. but Stoddard’s expenditure of $1,284.52 for meals (dinners for 4) is on the high side.
In an era of frugality and tightened budgetary expenses in Glendale it is more important than ever before that our elected officials spend their travel dollars wisely. A reminder that these trips are funded with taxpayer dollars may encourage them to be more mindful.