Grover Beach has yearly been sending its City Council members and staff to League of California Cities conferences like the current one in Sacramento. The city picks up the tab for everyone’s portal-to-portal expenses, including travel, hotel, meals, and conference events.
The country, state, county, and municipalities are currently facing the economic downtown of a recession. As a taxpayer, I have mixed emotions as to the “bang for the buck” being realized by the citizens for this latest junket. It doesn’t take a math major to figure out that this Sacramento excursion will cost thousands of dollars.
What are the real reasons for these journeys? It’s no secret that Mayor John Shoals has higher political ambitions. The troublesome part of this excursion is his role as president of the African American Caucus of the League, for which a good deal of his time is spent in meetings. According to him on their League website, its mission is to represent the interests of African American city officials and the greater African American community.
This may be a worthy cause in the larger scenario of things. However, why are the Grover Beach taxpayers paying hundreds and maybe thousands of dollars for his trips, if he is not attending the conference for the overall populace of the city? The percentage of African American citizens in Grover Beach is less than one percent, which is akin to the county’s ethnic population breakdown.
I personally do not see any benefit for our city with Mr. Shoal’s political activities. I think to foster his higher political ambitions he is using us. He owes us all an explanation, since we are picking up the tab.