Sunday, March 27, 2011

Will We Get the Funds Back?

A few weeks ago I wrote that we were sending 5 people to the National League of Cities Conference in Washington, DC. This was in my opinion, three more than we needed to send. Scroll down to the Feb 25, 2011 post, “The Five That Are Going……….to DC”.

Based on a recent posting to the city’s web site, it was obvious that only four of the individuals went. An inquiry was sent to the city manager requesting info as to whether or not funds were expended on behalf of the non-attendee, Ward III Councilmember Jeff Vaught.

Below are the three questions (in blue) and Ms. Gonzales’ responses, (in red). I would like to sincerely thank Ms. Gonzales for her speedy reply.

1. Were any funds expended on Mr. Vaught’s behalf (hotel reservations, NLC registration and seminar fees, transportation, advances for per diem and any other items)?
Two payments made in advance were for airfare and the NLC Conference Registration.

2. If yes, how much and what were they?
Air fare was $ 308.39. NLC Conference Registration was $420.

3. If yes, how much is refundable to the city and how much is lost?
The City has requests in to the airline and to NLC to have the amounts credited. Review processes are underway for each.

It is nice to know that action is being taken to get credits for these amounts. The only question that remains is, if the city gets the credits, will they be credits resulting in refunds or requiring the city to use the amounts for future meetings.

The latter has happened in the past.

What occurs is that the city gets a credit towards a future meeting, but to take advantage of it, additional funds have to be expended (lodging, per diem, seminar fees, etc.). Let’s hope that it is a refund and the city doesn’t get “forced” into additional expenditures. That is unless the funds are used for one of two individuals to be sent instead of 4, 5 or 6.

Watch this blog for info regarding how much was spent by the other 4 attendees to the DC conference.