Mayor's Expense Account Challenged

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Editor:

On Dec. 31, 2007, I personally delivered the attached letter to Town Hall for Mayor Bob Edwards concerning a $95.09 charge he made on his Town of Payson Procurement Card (Pro-Card). I asked him to provide me with a written response to two simple questions. As of today, Jan. 18, he has not responded to me. Three weeks is ample time to answer my simple questions.

Since the Mayor has taken the stance to not respond to my request, he has given me no choice except to make the issue public through the media.

I delivered the following letter to Town Hall:

"December 31, 2007

Mayor Robert Edwards

Town of Payson

303 N. Beeline Highway

Payson, AZ 85541

Subject: Town of Payson Pro-Card Expense for $95.09

Dear Mayor Edwards:

On Aug. 29, 2007, you used your Town-issued Pro-Card to pay for lunch meals at the Pasta Pomodoro Promenade Restaurant in Scottsdale, Ariz. I obtained a copy of the receipt that you signed for the $95.09 expense of public funds. It appears you failed to identify your guests and the purpose for the ‘meeting.' By the size of the bill, your meal was not the only meal you were paying for on your Town-issued Pro-Card.

You forgot to write on this charge ticket why (purpose) you paid for everybody else's meal and whose (those in attendance) meals you paid for with Town funds.

Since I am a taxpayer and the $95.09 that you spent was tax money, I am requesting you provide me a written explanation identifying those individuals in attendance at the Aug. 29, 2007 lunch that you charged to your Town Pro-Card, and why (purpose) you used Town funds to pay for their lunch. I have included a copy of said receipt for your reference.

I would appreciate your response by Jan. 11, 2007."

It is my belief that this lunch on August 29, 2007 was attended by Town Council members during the Arizona League of Cities and Towns Conference. I referred to this "meeting" in my Oct. 4, 2007 letter to the Rim Country Gazette and my Oct. 1, 2007 letter to the Payson Roundup as an "illegal meeting." In all of Mayor Edwards's responses to my previous comments, he neither denied nor affirmed that a lunch occurred on August 29, 2007 during the League Conference in Scottsdale. In fact, he tried to lead the reader to believe that the meeting I was referring to in my earlier letters was held in September (see Oct. 4, 2007 - Rim Country Gazette - Item #2). My source for this charge being made on the mayor's account, and the meeting itself comes from a Council member who was there. I have included a copy of the charge slip I referred to in my letter to the Mayor.

Glenn W. Smith

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