Thursday, February 14, 2013

ER #53: Giant Shrimp

City Hall Elevator Rumblings  #53

Rider #1:  I’ve completed my application.  Do you mind if I use you as a reference?  It might really help me with the selection process!

Rider #2:  What have you applied for?

Rider #1:  Well, you know I don’t make very much working for the city.  So, to supplement my income I’ve decided to apply for the city’s “free lunch” program.  Unlike the federal lunch program for school kids, this one is sponsored by the city manager and funded by Irving tax payers.  Lucky participants get to dine with him at the La Cima Club, Four Seasons and a host of other great nosh spots.  One requirement is to recite the “economic development” mantra and pledge allegiance to “Malcolm” before each meal.  The beauty of the program is that the city manager picks up the tab.

Rider #2:  Yeah, I remember now how the DMN spotlighted the manager’s benevolence in spending tax payer funds (more than $43,000) for club dues and culinary adventures.  The DMN also reported that in the period covered he had treated over 115 individuals on more than 340 occasions to a “free lunch.”  What was really eye opening was that former council member Joe Philipp was still in the program (24 occasions).  He has been off the council for two years!  Do you think he earned a life membership voucher for free city lunches by structuring the city manager’s original employment contract?

Rider #1:  Well, if I can get in the program, it will be easier than becoming a member of the Irving chamber of commerce.  Since the city manager is the capo of the Irving branch of the Lubbock Mafia and the president of the chamber is his local crew organizer, membership on that level is strictly limited to those who take the blood oath and sip the Kool-Aid...mostly chamber board chairmen (31 occasions).

Rider #2:  Good luck and I hope you are approved.  I think you would fit well with the best of them in these secretive settings away from tax payer scrutiny while munching on huge prawns paid for by Irving tax payers.  After all, someone has to do it...don’t they?

A note from counsel: These “candid” elevator conversations have been injected with fabricated nouns, verbs, adjectives, conjunctions, adverbs, modifiers and maybe a few dangling participles….Mark Holbrook