Penny Beancounter is Back and Once Again Auditing Elk Grove Expenditures

January 21, 2014 | Welcome readers! As you may remember, I like to delve into the finances of the city and see how they are spending o...

January 21, 2014 |

Welcome readers! As you may remember, I like to delve into the finances of the city and see how they are spending our money each month. I take note of interesting or just plain mind boggling purchases. 

I'm not saying anything is wrong, but sometimes common sense and curiosity get the best of me. It's been awhile since I last contributed here, but I would like to first commend the city staff for now including explanations with their check warrants.

Okay here we go. On tap for approval at the January 22nd meeting are:

$771 to the Maita Company for new Council member name plates, 3 World Rabies Day plaques, and 10 frames for certificates. Supporting local business is good, I just wonder if non-competitive orders are wise. The only new Council nameplates I can recall is promoting Jim Cooper to Vice Mayor, replacing Steve Detrick held that title previously. Too bad they can't have nameplate holders that have two slots--an upper one one for their name and a lower one for their title-Vice Mayor or simply Councilmember. This would only require a name change if a new face is elected.

$880 to Kaiser Permanente for employee flu vaccinations. I thought all city employees had health insurance?

$457 to Bubbles Car Wash for 32 car washes of police vehicles. Supporting local businesses is great, but I wonder if juveniles who have run afoul of the law in our city can't be assigned public service--hand them a bucket and a sponge and go to it! 

$900 to Freeport Ventures for the monthly lease of  a small parking lot in Old Town. I'm not sure when the lease is up, but we've got a recently-purchased vacant one million dollar piece of property over there that has only seen light duty as food truck/political gatherings and a defunct holiday ice rink. 

$63.54 to the Ed Jones Co. for refurbishing a police detective badge. Kudos to that detective for sprucing up the badge instead of replacing it. Beats the $2,279 also being spent for new Lt. and Sgt. badges.

$470 to Eco Promotional Products for promotional key chains. Really?

$792 to Alchemist CDC for I'm not sure what exactly. Here is an excerpt from the Alchemist web page. Not sure if Elk Grove farms are a part of this program? Hope the SOI doesn't ruin this program!

Alchemist CDC: Connecting Families to Farmers

And thanks to the City of Elk Grove, Comstock’s, a regional business magazine, has featured our work at farmers’ markets, administering Alchemist in Comstock's 01-14Market Match, and converting convenience stores to healthier food sellers.  In their “Capital Region Cares” section, the text quotes Elk Grove Mayor, Gary Davis, saying, “Alchemist CDC is helping our residents to make healthy choices with nutritious, locally grown produce from the region’s farms.” Elk Grove also sponsors our EBT-processing intern at the Laguna Farmers’ Market, so we are delighted to have their support and collaboration.

$200 to Primo Bar for setting up a mobile bartending for an employee party on January 17th. If that includes the booze, where do I go! 

$431 to Nina's Flowers and Gifts for 10 centerpieces and and 3 taller vase arrangements. Our condolences if this was a funeral. 

Some Misc, food expenses to keep the machine running-
$653 to Dickey's BBQ
$143 Pizza Bell
$70 Leatherby's
$83 Panera Bread
$27 Starbucks
$198 Panera Bread (again)
$74 Steve Place Pizza
$19 The Cookie Jar
$26 Java Time Donuts
Until next time, this is Penny Beancounter watching our bucks!


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Anonymous said...

Thanks Penny for pointing out some obvious wastefully city spending habits. I thought the citizens made it clear a few years ago that flowers, and food, and nicety like key chains are not necessary. I am curious why flu shots cost $900? City employees have health care coverage, don't they? And if they are contact employees, they should be paying for their own flu shots...remember, we pay contact employees a more than competitive salary to have the luxury of laying them off during downturns in the economy. Why are we paying for a cop to have his badge refinished? Isn't it HIS badge? He should maintain it. And there seems to be an awful lot of eating going on. My employer does not pay for my lunch; why in the hell should we be paying for the lunch/dinner of city employees? Or maybe this food is for other purpose? Please enlighten us. So we start a new year like the last one ended; with curious dealings and shady purchases. Welcome to 2014 where Elk Grove is for sale to the highest bidder and let the public be damned.

Fries With That said...

The food costs are probably for the council because we feed the council and staff during closed session before council meetings.

But the food costs have gone down considerably since pesky citizens complained. Dinners in the past were over $1,500 each because the council and staff were very eating high on the hog and splurging on food, hoping no one would notice.

Anonymous said...

"$200 to Primo Bar for setting up a mobile bartending for an employee party on January 17th." Is the city supplying the alcohol? IS this a city sponsored event? What liabilities does the city incur when they liquor up the staff and send them home? This seems like an expense my tax dollars should not be paying for!

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