By Scott H. Kidwell, La Mesa
At the June 14, 2011 La Mesa City Council meeting Mayor Art Madrid moved to remove the city from the East County Economic Development Council and rather use the $5,000 annual membership fee to allow city officials to do more travel to defend city financing at state and federal levels. Time will tell how worthwhile this plan will be.
But in as much as the Mayor claims to have not "seen one scintilla of benefit to the city from being a member" of the ECEDC I recommend a couple things to ensure maximum return on this travel investment.
For each proposed trip a request to and approval of the entire city council should be made providing an itinerary, including the purpose, cost and expected result of the trip. At the conclusion of the trip a full written report should be presented again to the city council providing specific results. And for the benefit of the public, post these reports on the city web site under a travel calendar where all may review and request further information.
Full disclosure before and after each trip will also discourage creative scheduling and selection of events to attend and officials to lobby wherein the trip is planned in conjunction with or around personal business such that the taxpayers actually end up funding the travel portion of personal vacations. Surely the mayor agrees that the public has a right to know about how all public monies are used and that we don't want waste or abuse!
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