Recent articles regarding the funding of the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce point out that funding provided to the chamber was not used for what it was originally planned and apparently only became public knowledge when the chamber was asked directly by Commissioner Mike Sparkman how it was spent.
It irritates me to no end when organizations don’t use donated funds as originally stated. Even more irritating to me is when there is no transparency as to how the funds ended up being used. Our state and federal governments are notorious for shifting taxpayer money from line item to line item. There is no accountability for wasted funds, and basically no consequences for just plain negligence, if not outright criminal behavior, within the government. Just look at how our Social Security system has been pilfered at the federal level. No wonder they get away with this type of behavior when we can’t even keep local funding under control.
If the city commissioners do decide to, once again, fund the chamber, I hope that it is contingent upon the chamber providing line item budgeting of city funds provided, with verified reporting as to how the funds were expended. Also, before any funds can be shifted to another line item they must first notify the city commissioners and obtain their approval for doing so. If the chamber can’t agree to this, then they don’t need the funds very much, and the city should not provide them.
— Lynn Buehler