NOVEMBER 19, 2005

To The Editor
The Rocky Mountain News
100 Gene Amole Way
Denver, CO 80204

I read the article by John C. Ensslin, “Arvada officials apologize,” RMN, November 3, 2005, with a shake of the head, at least initially. Then, the more I thought about it, the more outraged I became – public officials, the Urban Renewal Authority, spending more than $2,300 on dinner for 11 people in Las Vegas, and one of the excuses is that the restaurant was across from the hotel!”

I know a fellow who lives across from a Lexus dealer. It never occurred to him that his only choice in vehicles is a Lexus.

I lived and worked in Arvada for years. I still have friends, family, and associates in Arvada. It’s a great little town. It doesn’t deserve to be embarrassed by a bunch of publicly-employed dunderheads who apparently can’t appreciate the care required when they’re spending somebody else’s money.

And the so-called apology is as lame as the excuses.

Instead of a brief meeting by the Urban Renewal Authority to adopt the “first-ever” travel and training policy to set limits on spending, there should have been a brief meeting to write personal checks to pay back the city. Based on the new policy, $45 max per person for dinner, the total reimbursement comes to, uh, let’s see, 11 people at $45 a head… that’s $495… subtract that from the restaurant bill of $2,305… that’s $1,810.

Send ‘em a bill.

Rick Johnson

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