Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to the Wellington Village Council and copied to the Town-Crier for publication.
I am writing this to express my concern about wrongfully spending taxpayers’ money for “morale boosters” for village employees. Yes, I say, wrongfully. If staff wants to provide food, flowers, gifts, cards, etc., for each other, why can’t there be a fund that employees voluntarily contribute to in order to provide those items? This is exactly what is done in the county public schools and other employment sites. As a taxpayer, I resent that these things were provided to staff until the recent moratorium.
You are to be the watchdogs of our funds, not wasteful spenders. Any and all money that is spent by the government should have a true public purpose. Why is it that other people can bring their own coffee, water and snacks to work, but if you are a village employee, those things are provided to you free of charge?
To say they are “morale boosters” is a cop out. They are freebies provided by taxpayers. [Councilwoman Anne] Gerwig commented in the Sept. 28 Town-Crier, “…I don’t hear residents having a problem with this.” I am one resident who does. There seems to be a pervasive feeling in our country that it doesn’t matter what the electorate thinks; government officials are going to do what you want when you want with our tax money. So, it’s a feeling of what good does it do to say anything? Also, how many residents are even aware of this situation?
When I first read about the inspector general’s findings in the Town-Crier some time ago, I thought it was a given that this reckless spending would end. It seems like now you are looking to justify the spending.
As for lunch meetings, bring or buy your own. [Vice Mayor Howard] Coates, I don’t see how employee loyalty is encouraged or developed by buying food, drinks and gifts. If so, one has to question that employee’s true motivation for working. I would think the intrinsic rewards of knowing you are respected and treated as an equal contributor to the overall success of an organization would result in loyalty.
[Councilman Matt] Willhite, how about a free e-greeting from human resources for your birthday?
[Mayor Bob] Margolis, in regards to your retirement “gifts” leaving “a bad taste in your mouth,” the village shouldn’t have to compensate for your experience.
Once again, no one is saying employees shouldn’t be recognized, shown compassion or appreciation, etc. The question is, who should be paying for it?