BY LINDA BENTLEY | DECEMBER 11, 2013
Living high on the hog at taxpayer expense
Those who campaigned to end the “wasteful spending” at town hall, are turning a blind eye to Glassman’s excesses at the taxpayer trough
CAVE CREEK – When Maricopa Association of Governments Executive Director Dennis Smith spoke before council a short while ago, he made it clear that people could attend meetings through video and teleconferencing and didn’t need to drive all the way downtown.
Interim Town Manager Rodney Glassman, on the other hand, has not only logged countless miles for reimbursement, he apparently needs to use the taxpayer trough to pay for meals as he wines and dines everyone from Arizona Republic Reporter Phil Haldiman, to discuss town events, to Litchfield Park City Manager Daryl Crossman, to discuss Litchfield Park management and infrastructure.
He apparently cannot attend a meeting or review files at the state land department without citizens paying for coffee at Starbucks.
For the month of July, Glassman requested reimbursement for $309.29. During that period, he wined and dined Halderman, Vice Mayor Adam Trenk, Carefree Town Administrator Gary Neiss, Planning Commissioner Dan Baxley, Mayor Vincent Francia and Mesa Mayor Scott Smith.
Taxpayers had to buy hot tea at the Paradise Bakery Café so he could have a “discussion” with State Rep. Heather Carter.
In August, Glassman spent nearly $393 wining and dining people, including David Cavasos, former city manager of Phoenix; Pat de Riveda, to discuss recycling and waste; Payson Town Manager Deb Galbraith and Mayor Kenny Evans, regarding town manager search; Mesa City Councilman Dave Richins, to discuss Mesa state land; Phoenix City Councilman Jim Waring, to discuss “regionalism/state land;” and the same discussion two days later with Phoenix City Councilwoman Thelda Williams.
Taxpayers also paid $128.60 for a hotel room for a one-night stay in July at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson.
A subsequent request for reimbursement for August included a strange $21 charge at the Buffalo Chip Saloon with Cave Creek Unified School District Superintendent Debbi Burdick and town council on Aug. 19. It reflected a charge of $1 and a $20 tip written in for a total of $21.
It appears management comped the $83 in meals and beverages for the group and taxpayers only paid for the $21 tip. However, it didn’t mention what sort of town business the dinner was about.
He wined and dined Maricopa County Supervisor Andy Kunasek to discuss state land; Scottsdale City Manager Fritz Behring about the “Scottsdale challenge;” State Rep. Mark Cardenas and Dave Fitz from the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, regarding state land and the Scottsdale challenge, where taxpayers splurged for over $62 for breakfast at the Hilton Hotel El Conquistador in Tucson on Aug. 29; and Time West Publisher to discuss the Scottsdale challenge.
During the month of September, Glassman submitted a reimbursement request for $241.19.
Glassman spent $42.79 to buy lunch for himself and a “community volunteer” regarding a “civil union resolution and modifications.”
October was a doozy, with Glassman’s reimbursement request coming in at $868.
He discussed “laws” with Arizona Registrar of Contractors Director Bill Mundell at Tonto Bar and Grill to a tune of $105.47.
He met with representatives from the City of Glendale Economic Development Department to discuss a Taste of Cave Creek and Wild West Days at Pedros Mexican Food.
Glassman wined and dined various city managers regarding the city manager search.
He took Trenk and State Rep. Jonathan Larkin to P.F. Changs China Bistro to discuss “state land and legislature.”
Glassman took Weitz Executive Vice President Mike Bontrager to lunch discuss senior housing.
And all those presentations which Glassman has been loading up council meeting agendas with the heads of every state agency apparently aren’t free.
For example, the Nov. 4 presentation by Alan Everett, director of the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control, cost taxpayers $60.83.
So taxpayers are not simply paying for Glassman to drive all over the state when a phone call would suffice and for his daily 80-mile commute to town hall, whether he actually shows up there or not, they’re paying for his coffee, tea, breakfast, lunch and dinners and that of his guests.
And even though Glassman has hired a “community outreach director” with a $9,000 contract, he continues wining and dining members of the media, while Sonoran News has yet to receive so much as a press release.
Council members who campaigned to end the “wasteful spending” at town hall, are turning a blind eye to Glassman’s excesses at the taxpayer trough.
Instead they gave him a significant raise and extended his contract.