Mere days after the Post and Courier’s Greenville bureau unearthed the Greater Greenville Sanitation District’s plans for a little weekend jaunt to the plush Grove Park Inn in Asheville the trip has been — well — junked.
It seems that not enough commissioners could make the trip after all, according to the sanitation district’s executive director, Steve Cole.
A retreat to work out the Greenville trash utility’s budget priorities had to hit the garbage can because, suddenly, not enough folks could go after all. No quorum, no retreat. And why no quorum? One of the five commissioners isn’t even officially seated yet, so that one was out and left four. An “unexpected illness” — as opposed to an expected illness? — took another one out. Yet another opted out of the trip to stay home with his wife, who just had major surgery. A magnanimous and selfless decision there.
Apparently this well-planned and previously booked trip to the Grove Park Inn didn’t come with a decent cancellation insurance policy because now the sanitation district is out its $5,000 deposit — roughly a third of what the weekend junket would have cost. How’s that for setting budget priorities?
But what about the retreat’s purpose? Is that all for naught now? No. Not at all. Turns out the commission will get together in the coming weeks to work on its budget priorities. Where? Oddly enough, at its Washington Street headquarters in Greenville.
Turns out the commission did not really need to head to the mountains for a weekend trip that only had roughly seven hours devoted to a budget workshop. Turns out the commission is quite capable of hunkering down in the ole HQ to work on getting budget priorities figured out. Maybe they can order in some pizzas.
And consider this:
- The Post and Courier performed a public autopsy on the commission’s plans for a retreat to the tune of more than $14,000 for roughly seven hours of work.
- Suddenly, a quorum cannot make the trip. Only, that came up after the story made the rounds in Greenville.
- They were to check in at the Grove Park Inn on Friday. As of Wednesday, the forecast called for a low of 41 degrees and a 75% chance of rain in Asheville. During the seven hours they were set to work on Saturday, the forecast improved somewhat, with a high of 64 degrees and a 38% chance of rain. Sunday’s checkout date has a similar forecast.
Not much of a retreat if you have angered many of the 54,000 households you service and the only decent weather would have been while you were supposed to be working on budget priorities.
Say what you think, but the excuses for the sudden change of plans strikes us as a bunch of garbage. It shouldn’t have taken a newspaper’s digging through the trash, either, for the commission to clean up its act.