Mayor Merle Gorden, Come Back From Lunch
It seems like you have caused a bit of controversy in recent months, Mayor Gorden. Some information has slipped into the hands of the media that we suspect your administration would have preferred to not have publicized.
Mayor Gorden, we view your use of city funds to be irresponsible. The taxpayers foot the bill for your copious unused vacation days and lavish meals at some of our city’s finest dining establishments, according to reporting by The Plain Dealer columnist Mark Naymik.
Upon examining the issue, we feel that your spending is, in fact, blatant mismanagement and abuse of taxpayer dollars.
We are aware you have publicly defended your actions to both The Plain Dealer and the Cleveland Jewish News. We understand the need to keep the brand image of Beachwood alive and well, and sometimes that may include a nice lunch or two, though certainly not to the frequency and cost of your meals over the years.
We do believe it is appropriate to charge some lunches to the city.
For instance, is there a Westlake business owner thinking of moving his company’s operations to Commerce Park? Not a problem. We’ll call ahead and make the reservation for you at Maggiano’s ourselves. Business development is always a positive thing when executed properly, and a $90 lunch is a small price to pay, when compared to the benefits.
However, your expense reports show frequent lunches with other city officials and local politicians. We believe these meals should never be conducted on the taxpayers’ dime. That’s a lot to ask of them, considering that just three years ago, your administration pleaded for a 33% tax increase – and just narrowly got it, the Sun News reported.
Had voters known the increase would be used for such spending, we doubt it would have gotten the support it did.
Couldn’t a meeting with city officials and local politicians be held at city hall? If so, perhaps the expensed lunch could be avoided.
Many of your residents are upset, and it is disappointing that you are attempting to dismiss their concerns as nothing more than a distraction.
You have told the Jewish News that you’ll change. You’ve pledged to conduct more business at city hall.
Mayor Gorden, we ask you now to make good on the pledge you have made to your constituents.
Come back from lunch.