Back when dirt was new, I ventured off to Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, which is the largest city in the state, but comparatively speaking, small-town-like in many ways. The night before my first day of class, I set my clock-radio alarm, and the first thing I remember hearing in the morning on radio was that a run-away shopping cart in the parking lot of Hinky Dinky grocery store hit a parked car causing a dent. Wow, welcome to Iowa, where that’s the news story of the morning.
Fast forward to Naperville in April of 2016, where the top story in the local Sunday paper is the spending expenses of Naperville Township highway supervisor Stan Wojtasiak, which included, among other things, a 12-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon and some Dunkin’ Donuts. This information was obtained through a FOIA (Freedom On Infomation Act). Talk about somebody having too much time on their hands, a FOIA for that. Apparently I am not the only one in town with ‘time on his hands’.
It was determined that during a 2 1/2 year period almost $3500 was spent on food and restaurants by Wojtasiak, That comes to $27 a week. Are you kidding me. Somebody thinks that’s over the top, and it’s considered a front page story. Other so-called outrageous expenses included $19 worth of liquor expenses at a hotel while traveling. $19 worth of liquor at a hotel in Chicago might buy one beer, however in Iowa that $19 may get you five cases of Grainbelt beer. Other so-called ‘outrageous’ expenses by the highway supervisor included $30 at a pancake house in 2013, and a $43.93 expense at Jewel Food for a summer staff cookout supplies.
When asked about his township expenses, Wojtasiak was able to address most if not all the reasons for the justified expenses, which is probably better than most of Naperville city council members could do.
The bottom line is that local government officials are trying to lean on Naperville Township highway supervisor Wojtasiak with insinuations that he is doing something unreasonable. He is, but it’s not wasting money on donuts and beer.
It’s unreasonable because Wojtasiak is wasting time (and thereby money) making a decision on the City of Naperville’s road proposal to take over services for the Naperville Township Road District for a 40 to 45% savings for taxpayers. This could lower the annual cost from about $1.9 million to a little over $1 million. It’s a no-brainer, but Wojtasiak wants to think about it, wasting more time, and more dollars.
It’s unreasonable that the system is set-up for situations like this, where the decision-maker is the only one who can make a decision to either benefit himself or benefit taxpayers.
The biggest question yet to be answered is why did he choose Pabst Blue Ribbon and donuts when he could have had Schlitz and Twinkies.