ARE RENO TAXPAYERS BEING SWINDLED AGAIN?
EMBARRASSING PROBLEMS THREATEN RENO'S HOSTING OF 1998 MAYOR'S CONFERENCE
Open Letter to Thomas J. Cochran, Executive Director..........30 December, 1997
U.S. Conference of Mayors............. ..........................................URGENT
1620 Eye Street
Washington, D.C. 20006
Dear Mr Cochran,
As you may or may not know by now, a lot of problems have been coming to light revealing questionable activities on the part of Reno's mayor... as well as other city council members and city hall bureaucrats. By attendance at every city council meeting this year, here are just two of many problems that have been verified and exposed:
1. The mayor has been involved in the assignment of cronies to the Reno Airport Board of Trustees and then receiving a plush publicly funded kickback contract from them; for his private company.
2. The mayor and some other officials at city hall, were recently caught trying to secretly funnel public funds to political campaign cronies... in abject defiance of the spirit of good ethics... in order to feather their cronies' nests while ostensibly preparing for the Mayors Conference.
The attached Resolution is the latest, in a long list of attempts by citizens to try to make Reno's mayor and Reno's city hall accountable to the citizens. Until the mayor and most of council were shamed for about the 11th time at council meetings by a citizen (me), there had been a premeditated attempt to keep the lurid machinations behind the garish preparations for the Mayors Conference their own secret private party... with no real citizen participation.
The specter for problems that could dwarf those that squelched Colorado Springs' attempt to host the Mayors Conference some years ago... are lurking in Reno. We are sending this information to forewarn you and help you avoid such embarrassment... again. The potential for honorable government in Reno exists... but nobody can find it.
You can find numerous reports in our internet magazine at http://www.renocitizen.com
When queried, at a city council meeting as late as 18 November, about his clandestine back door dealings with numerous cronies he had stacked onto HIS Mayor Conference committee, the mayor said; "It is none of your (citizens) business."
If your mayors still want to come to Reno, we suggest you either handle the arrangements yourself... or find a more suitable group of planning personnel. Please forward this information to the other mayors... so that they also can be forewarned.
You can phone, email, FAX or write for further information.
Sam Dehne, editor, the Reno Citizen magazine - http://www.renocitizen.com
Reno, Nevada 89502
(702) 825-1398, FAX 825-1821
cc Nevada governor, Miller
Nevada lt gov, Hammargren
Nevada senators, Bryan and Reid
Nevada congressmen, Gibbons and Ensign
Sparks mayor, Breslow
Reno/Sparks news media (TV, radio, and print)
A CITIZEN'S RESOLUTION TO EXPOSE... AND PREVENT... CRONYISM IN RENO GOVERNMENT: by Sam Dehne
Whereas the City of Reno has committed many thousands of public dollars to Ardis Parmer & Associates (Parmer) for services pertaining to managing and promoting the 1998 Conference of Mayors' meeting (the Conference) in Reno, and
Whereas mayor Griffin is the President and Ardis Parmer is Executive Director of the organizing committee for the said meeting, and
Whereas mayor Griffin has taken the position that the structure and activities of the organizing committee are "none of the public's business", and
Whereas Reno citizens and taxpayers do have an obvious right to be fully informed about the use of public funds, and
Whereas the mayor heretofore has treated his relationship with Parmer in a secretive manner which invites public trepidation regarding the City's good faith, competence, and integrity ......
Be it therefore resolved that appropriate officials of the City of Reno will answer the following questions in a straightforward, no-nonsense, and timely manner:
1. What total amount of City of Reno funding ... including incidental expenses ... will be paid to Parmer for managing and promoting the Conference?
2. What contract or contracts exist(s) between the City of Reno and Parmer?
3. How may any Reno citizen obtain a copy or copies of any contract(s) between the City of Reno and Parmer? If no formal contract exists, why not? If there is a formal contract, on what date was it signed? And if there is a formal contract, why was a concerned citizen not informed of its existence when he asked specific questions about the Parmer affiliation at city council meetings in November of 1997?
4. Precisely what decision-making procedure was employed by the City of Reno (the mayor) in choosing Parmer to manage and promote the Conference? Why are so-called personal services not put to public bid? Does the rationale justifying and requiring the bid process for contracts other than personal services not equally apply to personal services?
4a. Does non-use of, or circumvention of, the bid process not permit unethical politicians to award involved contracts to friends, cronies, and relations? Is it not a conflict of interest to unilaterally give a plush publicly-funded contract to a political organizer who was instrumental in the election campaigns of current members of the Reno City Council?
5. Is the City of Reno liable for any expense regarding the meeting of the Conference other than payment to Parmer for related management and promotion? What portion of money raised by Parmer for the Conference will be retained by Parmer as remuneration for its fund raising and/or other services?
6. If the organizing committee and Parmer are unable to solicit contributions to fully pay all bills related to the Conference, is the City of Reno liable to pay any such shortfall... as was the case in San Francisco's mayors Conference... reportedly well over a $million dollars?
7. What is the projected and anticipated total cost for the Conference?
8. What members of the Reno City Council agree with Mayor Griffin that the structure and activities of the organizing committee are "none of the public's business"?
9. What caused San Francisco taxpayers to have to pay well over a $million dollars... in spite of promises from their mayor, Willie Brown, that no public money would be spent on the mayors Convention there?
10. Has the Reno City Council sounded public opinion in Reno regarding the average citizen's willingness to pay any amount of public money for the 1998 meeting in Reno of the Conference of Mayors? If so, how was such sounding conducted? If not, why not?
11. Why has the City of Reno not fully informed Reno citizens about its involvement regarding the meeting of the Conference of Mayors? (The City is inviting the perception that there is something to hide from public awareness.)
12. Is it not fraudulent deception for the Reno City Council to refuse to answer questions such as the foregoing?
13. Which members of the Reno City Council hold the position that Reno citizens are not entitled to complete, detailed answers to the foregoing questions which pertain to public business funded with public money? Which members of the Reno City Council hold the position that they are empowered to withhold knowledge of public affairs from their constituents?
14. Does the City Attorney hold the position that Reno citizens are not entitled to complete, detailed answers to the foregoing questions?
15. Does the City Manager hold the position that Reno citizens are not entitled to complete, detailed answers to the foregoing questions?
Why are the Reno-sparks media not asking the foregoing questions? Are they in cahoots with City Hall?
Signed this _____of Dec, 1997 Sam Dehne, a Citizen of Reno_________________
Approved this _____of Dec, 1997 Reno City Clerk___________________
*Note: This resolution is subject to update... as city hall continuously re-writes its Agreements to keep up with the funneling of public money to campaign cronies.
*Note: Why was a contract just today signed... after payments have been made to Parmer for 7 months? Why?
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