I have known Doug Robertson, Apple Valley’s new town manager, for many years going back to my days of being on the Victorville City Council while he was the city manager over there. We haven’t always seen eye to eye.
The latest Office of Office of Inspector General (OIG) Report on the Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority (VVWRA) is now available. In it, the OIG recommends that FEMA should disallow the more than $33 million in grant funds awarded to the Authority for Project 828 and coordinate with DHS for any applicable suspension and debarment actions.
Fifteen-hundred-dollar hotel bills for two-night and three-day conferences in Long Beach — $1,500! That is the latest gem I have uncovered on the Council expense reports and credit card statements.
Citing a $2.6 million budget shortfall, the Apple Valley Town Council unanimously approved reductions in employee compensation and benefits last week. However, that only produces $455,000 in savings and Town Manager Doug Robertson is hinting at cuts in services to make up the rest.
What is so fascinating is that in 2018 it is so easy and relatively painless for local governments to be transparent and accountable to the taxpayers. For example, take my recent investigation into the expense reports and credit card statements of each Apple Valley Council member.
Some Review readers may recall the 1993 comedy “Groundhog Day” featuring legendary comedian Bill Murray. Murray plays a weatherman assigned to cover the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
“Boeing” Barb Stanton loves to fly on the taxpayers’ dime. Since the beginning of 2015, it appears she has flown on at least 21 trips at a cost of approximately $7,500 on airfare and related fees.
Mayor Art Bishop used a town credit card to pay for his wife’s airline ticket based on credit card statements recently provided to me by town officials. Bishop claims he reimbursed the town (the town had four days to confirm the reimbursement, but so far, all I hear are crickets), but why is it the town’s responsibility to pay upfront for a spouse’s trip. These trainings are supposed to be business trips, right?