HomeLatest NewsColorado County Clerk Splurges on Lavish Employee Gifts, Sparks Outrage

Colorado County Clerk Splurges on Lavish Employee Gifts, Sparks Outrage

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Jefferson County in Colorado is mainly made up of western suburbs from the Denver metro area. Originally a Republican stronghold, the county has voted Democrat in each of the four recent presidential elections. Jefferson County residents, liberal or not, don’t like to see their tax dollars wasted on costly gifts for county workers.

Recorder Amanda Gonzalez and Jefferson County Clerk did exactly that at an “employee appreciation” party held in January.

Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder defends a taxpayer-funded party in Colorado for employees, even as commissioners of the county consider large budget cuts. Last month, the party included Apple AirPods and other gifts such as a robot vacuum cleaner and telescope.

Clerk Amanda Gonzalez said the party was to show appreciation for employees and retain them. She claims that her election workers were threatened, the workers in the records department have seen marriage requests double, and the majority of clerks earn between $22-24 per hour. She says that since she cannot give them raises she has given them gifts and a catered event to show her appreciation.

Natalie Menten, a Jefferson County resident and government watchdog, says that this is an example of wasteful government spending. She heard rumors and filed an open record request to find out if they were true.

“I was shocked. Menten said, “I thought it would be one or two things.”

You can’t just have one or two things.

Menton brings up some excellent points.

Menten, a fiscal conservative who is devoted to Jefferson County, says that every Jefferson County taxpayer should be indignant.

They’ve seen the cost of their groceries rise. They have tightened their belt. She said, “They want the government to do the same thing — watch their budgets, tighten up their belts, and stop crying wolf that ‘We don’t have enough money’.”

Menten believes taxpayers should demand greater transparency and oversight, including posting detailed check registers – not just budgets – online along with all credit card purchases and competitive bidding contracts. She says citizens shouldn’t be required to pay hundreds of dollars for open records requests to find out how their tax money is being spent.

Menton is right, and at the county level, there is no reason why these records shouldn’t be made available upon request. As taxpayers, it’s our responsibility to keep an eye out for these people. The federal government does not run up extravagant expenditures, although it is the only government that can print massive amounts of fiat money that fuels inflation. The state and county governments, as well as the people who run the party machinery, should be scrutinized.

The nature of government is to expand and become more intrusive. The government is also prone to waste taxpayers’ money. Apocryphally, President Reagan reacted angrily when someone said that Congress “spent like drunken sailors.” In his usual manner, the Gipper pointed out that “…drunken sailors are spending their money.” The Jefferson County story is a good example of why taxpayers must be vigilant. They are not spending their money; they are wasting our money.

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