January 7, 2014
Spain? Seriously? City Engineer Ralph Davis wants to go to the coast of Spain to do what, drink Sangria and study streetcar wheel assemblies (trucks)? This news-dog thought the whole deal was being built in Elmira, N.Y. Since when do we go to a potential vendor and inspect ball bearings for the project? Never, that’s when.
Spain? Certainly there will be council people who will want to tag along; enter Russ “Runaway” Johnson. That’s another $2,500. Given the wording of the memo that refers to “staff,” there’s sure to be a few more tickets added to the tab, every single one at $2,500 a crack. A “working vacation” to the coast of Spain, where it’s a balmy 61 degrees today, all on the taxpayer dime. Hear that dinner bell ringin’? Come ‘n get it!
Well that’s out the window, right along with the rigged up, gerrymandered vote for this horrendous, pardon the pun, toy-train, train wreck. Never mind the austerity measures put in to place to save the cash strapped city budget, measures like the hiring freeze imposed from the 29th floor or the reduced mowing schedule for parks and vacant lots. These are cuts that directly and negatively affect the level of and delivery of city services to customers. Yes, customers; that’s what we taxpayers are. And in the midst of all this, Mr. City Engineer wants to travel abroad (with “staff”) on the taxpayer’s dime to study streetcar trucks and build specifics?
Here’s a tip for Mr. Davis. There’s a place in Kansas City’s East Bottoms, Comet Industries, that manufactures rail trucks and has about 200 of them in their open air yard. That’s, ohhhhh, roughly 2 miles from City Hall as the crow flies. Even at the inflated city mileage rate, that’s about $6 in reimbursable mileage. This cool-cat li’l doggy will even throw in lunch at the Local Pig (boost the local economy instead of San Sebastian, Spain) for a total cost of just under a $20 bill. Hey! There’s close to $2,480 we just saved the city. Multiply that times the number of “staff” tickets to the coast of Spain and you’ve got a couple of infrastructure improvements that can be made, improvements that directly improve the quality of life for the taxpayer. As for Mr. Davis, shame, shame shame for trying to sneak a mini-vacation to a Spanish coastal resort community past us, all on the taxpayer’s dime.
View the city memos for yourself: