Yes, Commissioner Vince Vicites and Commissioner Dave Lohr approved a 7 night Caribbean Cruise. The cost of $14,366.73 included hotel, airfare, cruise & seminar.
A local blog wrote about this a while back.
Read it here http://julietoye.com/Coroner_Cruise.html
Readers of that blog asked me if it was true. Yes, it is true & the documents posted are accurate. More recently, that blog questioned confirmation of payment. Here it is. Req approved
The requisition for reimbursement was submitted for commissioner approval. When I raised concern both before the trip and after, the one commissioner whited his name out. However, the requisition went through later and as per the above shows payment. Nothing gets paid without 2 commissioner approvals. The payment was through the General Fund using the vital statistic improvement grant.
They will say seminars are allowable expenses which can be used from this type of fund. Does that justify taking money from the fund for a seminar that took place on a 7 night Caribbean Cruise? No. Is allowing it being fiscally responsible? No.
They will say that as commissioners we do not have a say on how the money given to Fayette County through the vital statistic improvement grant is spent. That is not correct. We have direct and indirect control of spending.
Yearly, departments and elected officials meet with the commissioners to form their budget. Every department/office receives county funds and some receive extra funding through state & federal grants. The department heads & elected officials request funds to operate their office. We offset expenses from the General Fund for those offices that receive these extra monies. We go through each line item with them and we discuss what they will be receiving and how they will be spending it.
Every year you hear Fayette County Commissioners talk about the hours they spent in preparing the budget going over each and every line item. And how they are fiscally responsible and how after the budget is adopted they continue throughout the year to monitor it keeping everything in check.
You can allow them to double talk this like they double talked paying a financial consultant more than a million dollars. Heck, they may even go back on the local talk show or get a reporter to write a story that says an association conducted the seminar & may say seminars are allowable expenses so why not go? They may say it is the state’s fault for not placing restrictions on seminars. Who knows what their excuses will be? Regardless of the anticipated double talk, excuses, pointing the fingers elsewhere just know that Fayette County does not have two fiscally responsible commissioners with Vince Vicites and Dave Lohr.