Patterson mayor plans to address budget stories
Wed, 2013-10-23 13:56 Harlan Kirgan
Travel expenses more than double budget
By PRESTON GILL
Mayor Rodney Grogan has called a press conference for 4 p.m. today at City Hall, 1314 Main St., to discuss issues that have been raised in recent articles in The Daily Review on city government practices.
Grogan said his administration is attempting to institute changes in how city government operates and how records are made available to the public as well as presented to the City Council.
Grogan did not give specifics on what he intends to say at the press conference other than to say it is time for him to comment on the issues. He intends to discuss different departments but did not offer specifics on what that will involve.
The press conference was called a few hours after The Daily Review reported the city’s travel and employee expense budget was overspent by almost $58,000 and that there were multiple instances of credit card purchases of meals at local restaurants.
Grogan repeated that any dining or other expense he has incurred with the use of city funds has always been on city business.
“I can account for any expenses that I have had,” Grogan said earlier. But he said he cannot vouch for others. He will begin instituting a policy that requires a detailed documentation of who is present at city-paid lunches and what is eaten, he said.
On Tuesday, Grogan said in the future, travel by city employees must get his direct approval.
Grogan said he is attempting to make changes to practices that have been occurring in Patterson for many years and across other administrations.
The first-term mayor has begun making financial reports available to City Council members and the public at the monthly public meetings. Grogan promised to have budgets prepared 45 days ahead of the end of the fiscal year, in a manner that conforms to the city charter, correcting a consistent audit finding for the past decade. He also promised a public presentation of the annual audit of city finances and practices.