State Rep. Steve Riggs just released a statement calling for the Metro Council to improve discretionary spending practices:
“It has become evident that there needs to be much clearer policy of how much lee-way council members have when it comes to the taxpayer dollars they spend or personally oversee,” said Rep. Riggs. “The rule seems clear to me: If a project or event doesn’t serve a broad public purpose, then they should not look to the taxpayer for funding. Providing lunch or beverage to citizen volunteers who work to clean up a highway or stream is certainly acceptable, even encouraged, but paying for an event or reception with tax dollars that accomplishes nothing but promoting a local official or rewarding those close to them should be out-of-bounds.”
Rep. Riggs said the state Constitution provides guidance for the council. “Section three says that there can be no grant of privileges to anyone ‘except in consideration of public services.’ Providing a barbecue or party just for the sake of feeding constituents for free does not fit that definition. If these events are allowed now, the council needs to consider changing their rules so that it conforms to the spirit of the Kentucky Constitution and statute.
Rep. Riggs added that he has asked his staff to look into the issue, and that if the council does not take appropriate action to be more judicious, his committee could consider what steps the state should take next.
Unfortunately, Riggs decided to ignore the massive pot of free cash the mayor gets to play with each year. Hopefully he’ll correct his plea for action to include those funds.