City Manager Responds To Credit Card Critics 10-11-2010 - WNEM TV 5

City Manager Responds To Credit Card Critics 10-11-2010

A cash-strapped city has spent thousands on extras like trips, gas cards, and pizza parties. TV5 asked if it was money well spent and we were told it's all about boosting employee morale.
But many of you say that answer's just not good enough.
So TV5 took the Tough Questions back to Bay City's City Hall and now we're getting some results.
Ever since TV5 exposed Bay City's spending practices, city leaders have come under harsh criticism. Now they are responding to that criticism.
On Monday, TV5's Bill Walsh sat down with City Manager Robert Belleman to talk about travel expenses, such as business lunches and conferences across the state and across the country.
TV5 wanted to know about the International Economic Development Conference in suburban Washington, D.C., which assistant city manager Steve Black attended.
What benefit did the taxpayers get for his attendance? Belleman claims it paid dividends.
"Developing relationships with some of our federal and state agencies have been very beneficial to Bay City," said Belleman. "We have received over $1.6 million in the last two years from the Environmental Protection Agency to help Bay City clean up."
TV5 asked Belleman about some of the other conferences city employees attended over the past few years. He said in this age of downsizing, city employees need education and training, and the city has cut back on conferences in response to the economic downturn.
And at Monday night's policy committee meeting, the city manager introduced a seven-point plan to respond to recent criticism.
No. 5 on the proposal: review the city's travel policy to determine an appropriate cap on meals purchased while on official business.
WNEM TV5 Reviews The Seven-Point Plan With Belleman:
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