Commissioners decline to pay for office holiday party
January 7, 2021
On Tuesday morning, the county commissioners opted not to authorize a $379 expense submitted by the Crook County Treasurer’s Office. The charge, which appeared in the mileage and travel line, was for a Christmas dinner hosted for office staff.
The commission was unanimous in the opinion that it would be inappropriate for such an event to be funded by the taxpayer.
Commissioner Jeanne Whalen commented that, while she understands the desire to treat hard-working staff, it is not customarily paid for through an organization’s budget.
“You guys are all free to take your employees somewhere…but not on the taxpayer’s dime,” she said.
Commissioner Fred Devish agreed that building a positive team atmosphere is a good thing, but said he is not aware of any of the other elected officials having paid for such an event from their budget, either this year or in the past. Commissioner Kelly Dennis gave the example of a past event hosted at the bowling alley that was paid for by the commissioners themselves.
Though noting that he understands the intention of the event, Devish added that it is especially inappropriate at a time when, “People are waiting in line for their food baskets.” The expense was not approved for payment.