First Allen Gwinn breaks the DISD credit-card story; now, the fiscal watchdog turns his accountin' eyes upon you, oh wasteful City o' Dallas. Gwinn writes on Dallas.org that initially the city rejected his open-records request for "procurement cards" info; seems the city likes engaging in a game of semantics when its cover's blown. They're just plain ol' "credit cards," turns out -- upon which some 260 city employees spent $3,626,477.02 from October 2005 through September 2006.
And, for starters, seven of them spent a combined $13,259.93 at the Bahama Beach Waterpark: Brian Borski ($1,641), Aloise Erims ($1,430), Sean D. Johnson ($2,851.97), Kevin D. Moore ($2,501.05), Susan Musgrove ($492), Theresa Pendgraft ($161) and Jennifer L. Ramirez ($4,182.91). Of course, maybe there's a good reason some of the expenditures: Ramirez, for instance, has the job title "Coordinator IV-Recreation" in the Park & Recreation Department, and no doubt we'll be told she was just doing her job, coordinating and recreating. Problem is, it costs, like, $14 to get in. Food's cheap (and crap). A few hundy we can see; several thou, hard to swallow. And, apparently, the city has a few animals it needs to take care of on the taxpayers' dime: Nine city employees spent a combined $3,222.01 at Petsmart.
You need to go to Gwinn's site this morning; warning, you might spend the entire day there. Not only will you see how the city's spending your money, but Allen has also updated the city employee salary database. Get back to us later in the day for some more highlights and/or some city response. Or you can always read about it later in The Dallas Morning News, when the paper takes credit for this too. --Robert Wilonsky