5 County Supervisors done wrong
Last weekend, Wife Patti and I attended the Newark-Wayne Hospital Gala fundraiser. This is the second year we have attended the sold-out event and it was a great chance to contribute and support our Wayne County hospital. We rubbed shoulders with doctors and business people, ate terrific food and were thoroughly entertained.
Businesses and groups could purchase individual, couples tickets, or entire tables for the event, held this year at Casa Larga Vineyards. Our tickets cost $95 per. There were different levels of sponsorships, something we are looking at for next year.
There were two sponsored tables seating 16, front and center to the night’s activities, from the Wayne County Civic Facility Development Corporation. This “Diamond Level” sponsorship cost the legal entity (created by the Board of Supervisors for bonding projects at the Hospital) $5000. Along with this they got an ad in the Gala book and mentions on the video presentations. The WCCFDC also received the two “sponsored” tables.
Supervisors, guests and some County officials filled the two tables. So, how many of the elected officials paid for their night of filet mignon, shrimp, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres? None!
This was a clear violation of the very “Code of Ethics Laws” the Board of Supervisors passed last June. In short, that law states that an employee, or elected official cannot receive anything valued over $75 total. Tickets for the five supervisors attending, along with their wives/dates came to $190 per couple. OOOPS!
When I brought this to the attention of the County Attorney and Chairman of the Board, faces soured. The supervisors who attended the event were surprised that they had violated their own law and “Code of Ethics”. A couple supervisors even exclaimed they had no idea the tickets for two people that included diner, open bar, live bands, supplied masks, a free photo booth and extra entertainment as a fundraiser would cost $95 per ticket. Give me a break!
Then, there were several comments by supervisors that “This is Ron Holdraker, doing what Ron Holdraker does.” Well, yeah, I guess so. What bothered me is that the county employees/elected officials who attended never saw this as an ethics thing.
They do now. They have each been asked to pay the $190 ticket price and some have already done so. Next year is a supervisor election year. I’ll be watching and gladly tell you who was there and if they actually paid for their own tickets. My guess is very few will attend since they will be required to actually pay their share for the fundraiser.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, numerous Wayne County employees’ jobs are being cut due to harsh budget cuts. Good news, as ex-employees they will be eligible next year to receive any County Gala tickets since they will no longer be under the guidelines of a county employee “Code of Ethics”
Ann Marie Buerkle lost in her bid to retain her congressional seat. No surprise here. Even though we called her office at least a dozen times before the write-ups for the election issue, we finally got a response 5 minutes before the cut-off deadline. We did receive an ad, just before deadline time though in the final week. Guess Wayne County just wasn’t as important to her this time around.
As for the Republican Party in general… Get your act together, get rid of some of the dead wood in the party and realize this is the 21st century.