Part II –Lunch With Her Honor

As previously posted, EGN received documentation from the City of Elk Grove in response to a public information request filed earlier this m...

As previously posted, EGN received documentation from the City of Elk Grove in response to a public information request filed earlier this month. In this filing a random sampling of various meal/food expenditures paid via city issued credit cards was requested.

Below find a discussion of some of the more interesting information gathered from the requests.

Lunching With Sophia

A review of our survey found at least two lunches held between Elk Grove Mayor and City Manager Laura Gill. The first lunch for the duo was at Romano’s Macaroni Grill in Elk Grove on Tuesday, March 30.

The total cost was $40.00 including gratuity. The documentation did not state a specific business purpose.

Scherman and Gill also enjoyed a joint lunch on Tuesday, April 13 at Paesano’s in Elk Grove and the total cost of this lunch was $30 including gratuity. The documentation said "meeting with Mayor Scherman.'

Gill paid the tab at Marconi Grill as her name appears on the credit card charge. Gill also appeared to pay for the Paesano’s meal as the last four numbers of the credit card matches the Marconi Grill receipt.

Gill, along with other select city employees and council members possess city-issued credit cards.

According to sources who have contacted EGN, Mayor Scherman has allegedly enjoyed having lunches with city managers in the past. A public information request will be made to verify these claims.

Scherman has not responded to requests seeking information regarding the business purpose for the lunch meetings with Gill.

Other dubious meals

Our sampling of credit card charges revealed meals for council members and city staff while attending the annual Cap to Cap lobbying trip, pizza purchases for police dispatch meetings, the ubiquitous cook purchases and routine purchases for things like cleaning supplies.

Many of the other interesting food purchases involved city staff members.

On April 13, city employee Cedar Kehoe used her city issued credit card to purchase a lunch for herself, Bob Williamson (project manager), Andrew Key (financial), “two consultants" with Willdan (Katie and Jeff). The documentation said “lunch was following the tour of the San Joaquin HHW facility.

The party of five dined at Elk Grove’s On the Border and the tab was closed out at 12:47 pm. The total cost for the city was $75.35 including tip.

On Thursday, April 8, City Finance Manager Rebecca Craig paid for a lunch in Downtown Sacramento’s Lucca’s. The cost of that meal was $57.00 including gratuity.

Documentation for this meal showed a lunch for Craig, City Attorney Susan Cochran, City Planner Taro Eichburu and vendor Phil Carter of Pacific Municipal Consultants and notes “LAFCO EIR Scoping.”

The city also provided meals from Chik-Fil-A for one of Elk Grove’s largest vendors, MV Transportation. On March 25, the city paid $89.72 for that was documented as “meeting w/MV to discuss FTA review.”

The largest single expenditure charged to a city credit card for food was on Monday, April 5, for Elk Grove’s Panera Bread. The city spent $929.85 to provide lunches to developers and contractors at a workshop.

On April 1 the city paid $60.00 for six Pizookie Platter deserts at BJ’s Elk Grove location. According the city clerk’s office, this expense was for a celebration of city employees’ birthdays.

Lost receipts

The city also said documentation for two requested receipts could not be located. There were for a March 31 “business meeting" at Elk Grove’s Red Robin and an April 22 expense of $31.19 incurred at Elk Grove Brickhouse restaurant for a parking planning meeting.

While none of these purchases appear illegal, it does tell us how our city officials spend our hard earned taxpayer dollars on things that add no value for Elk Grove citizens.

Cannot the meetings between Scherman and Gill be conducted in a conference room over a soft beverage or brown bags?

Does a trip downtown for a presumed LAFCO EIR Scoping session really constitute an out of town travel expense permitting the purchase of a high-priced lunch for city employees and a well paid consultant?

Over $900 to feed a bunch of developers and contractors? Wasn't the information offered more than enough?

Was the $77 lunch by three city staffers and two consultants after they toured a waste facility crucial to the future of Elk Grove's waste management program?

And what about those cookies? Most private sector companies have a voluntary funds made up of employee contributions. Must the laid-off worker pay for pizookies for office celebrations?

We urge our elected officials to take a closer look at some of the dubious expenses being racked up and ask the question if these expenses really advance the good of the community.

Given the tough times many of our residents face, the money used to feed well-paid city workers, elected officials and worse, consultants, could make a substantial donation to our local food bank. If the city is really looking out for the people most in need, we suggest some belt tightening and lets use our limited resources to feed in-need families and not well paid city staff.

Post a Comment Default Comments


Unknown said...

It has been said that Ms. Scherman is out to lunch. This just proves it to be more ways than one.


Malleus Codex said...

Vote Ol' Sophie out AS SOON AS POSSIBLE ! ! !

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