Vail Daily letter: Those are my tax dollars Eagle County is spending
Vail, CO, Colorado
“Concerning Eagle County spending” article from Nov. 18, I have a few comments. In your article you refer to the use of the “county credit card” by several employees. The “county credit card” is a euphemism for my tax dollars. This is not a casual use of general funds, but a misuse of dollars collected from every citizen in this county. Those high property taxes and sales taxes that I pay are going to pay for a willow tree in some person’s office?
I don’t want to buy plants for an office. In fact, I think that as long as an office has adequate office supplies, temperature control, four walls that won’t cave in during a storm, and the employees have health insurance, then I have done my job as the provider of funds.
If the employee wants to give a baby gift, they should buy it themselves. If the employee wants a plant or a picture to pretty the place up, buy it out of their pocket and take it with you when you leave. My tax dollars should never be used to buy a present or flowers for someone I don’t know.
As to $458 hotel rooms, I find that to be an absurd expenditure and highly irresponsible. The average citizen in this county makes $12 an hour and would have to work over 40 hours just to pay for that room. If sales tax is 8 percent, then Costco must sell $5,700 worth of merchandise to raise $458 in taxes to pay that same hotel bill.
I say we should put a cap on hotels at, maybe, $69 and if the employee wants to spend more, then it’s out of their pocket. How much can the average citizen afford to pay for a hotel? Use that for a policy guide.
But if I’m paying for the hotel room, I expect that expense to be for something that will be a benefit to me and the county, not for a lifetime license such as passing the bar exam. Not only was this irresponsible, it was downright morally wrong.
As for meals, come on! If the guy is out of town, he should be able to buy a meal. Keep it to $15 for lunch and $20 for dinner. No alcohol. Be reasonable. Don’t buy food for anyone else. We should only be responsible for you. Christmas presents? Give me a break. Those boxes of brownies were given to people who had been well paid for their work. I don’t know them. Don’t use my money to send Christmas gifts!
If you want to buy eye glasses for a kid who can’t afford them or buy a coat for a struggling family with our extra funds, I say go for it. There is never a time for excesses. The excuse that the economy is forcing county departments to rethink their spending is ludicrous. Those excesses are inexcusable at any time.
I’m sure Mr. Treu is correct that the IRS sees his expenditures as legal business expenses and that there is no policy from the county that is more restrictive than the IRS guidelines. I just think its way past time to change those policies.
I find it extremely irritating to read that Ms. Vigil thinks she should get away with spending my money on her groceries, gas and personal psychic because everyone else was misbehaving. She was wrong, she knows it, and she needs to pay it all back. I expect the county commissioners to make sure that there is written policy in place so that there is never an excuse for these excesses again. This issue is now squarely on their shoulders.