The Free Ride is Over at Metro Council

Green Won't Step Down

On the heels of the Ethics Commission statement of the obvious — that Judy Green broke ethics rules — the domino effect of Green’s problems are being felt throughout the Metro Council.

Green’s problems are mounting, and because of her steadfast refusal to step down (she needs the money her salary provides), we’re going to be subjected to a two-month circus before the Council finally votes to remove her from the Council. I expect that the first step will be her removal from the Democrats’ Majority Caucus, which may come as early as this week.

But Green’s foibles have cast negative vibes on the rest of the Council’s freebies — stuff that the public may or may not care about. On Sunday, the C-J revealed what it was able to dig up from available records — that council members routinely give away food and prizes to constituents as incentives to show up at events in their districts. Most reasonable people know, of course, that this is inherently a wrong way to spend taxpayer money, especially when it’s $110K in the last three years.

If David Tandy wants to spend $17K to feed people in his district, he can start raising the money from corporations.

There’s more, and it’s stuff you might think is inconsequential. Should taxpayers pay $774 so that Robin Engel’s office staff doesn’t have to drink the water in City Hall, where they complain the old pipes make the tap water taste funny? What about soft drinks and coffee? I think we all know that these aren’t perks that taxpayers should be paying for, and the free ride for council members and their staffs is about to end. They can get some nice vending machines like most businesses do.

Good for the C-J for bringing all this misuse of taxpayer money to light. Somehow, the “do-the-right-thing” set downtown will find a way to cut back all that money budgeted for use by members at their whim. Council members will be thinking twice for here on out, whether it’s buying Cokes for their staff members of hosting barbecues in their districts.