Friday, December 21, 2007

Esslinger’s at it again

What’s he up to now, you ask? Pandering and grandstanding, as is so often the case with this city councilor. He is pursuing his silly notion that city employees should not be reimbursed mileage from the city, but rather believes they should claim it on their income tax returns.

This idea first surfaced during the budget discussions, with Esslinger making the comment that he had agreed to such an arrangement with his current employer and, gosh, wouldn’t it be a nice cost-savings to do the same here? Now he’s bringing it up again. He wants to give the impression that he’s trying to save every little bit of money he can for us taxpayers. (Too bad he wasn’t as cost-conscious and saving-savvy when it came time for him to jam his $1,700+ legal bill – generated as a result of his shooting off his mouth to then city manager Richard Wollangk – down the throats of the city’s insurance company.)

There are a couple of problems with Esslinger’s proposal. Number 1: In order to claim a mileage deduction on your income taxes, you have to be able to itemize, and the simple fact of the matter is, not everyone is in a position to itemize. For many, it just doesn’t pay. Number 2: Simply because you claim a deduction, doesn’t mean you get reimbursed 100 percent for it.

Esslinger either needs to stick with things he knows something about or take the time to actually learn about all aspects of a proposal before he makes it. He’s failed on both counts in this case.

Esslinger Sidebar Bonus: The holiday season is bringing all kinds of goodies from councilman Esslinger. The other gem was earlier this week when it was reported by the Oshkosh Northwestern that the acting city attorney had concerns about decisions being made and formal action being taken as a result of council member statements. Esslinger, along with deputy mayor Burk Tower, took a somewhat nonchalant attitude about it. In Tower’s defense, he at least said that if the council has to be more careful, it will be more careful. But Esslinger was quoted in the article as saying, "I think it's much ado about nothing."

As was pointed out by the Northwestern’s executive editor Stew Rieckman during a recent taping of Eye on Oshkosh, it’s "much ado about nothing" in Esslinger’s eyes because it was Esslinger who was “guilty” of at least one of the things the council did that the acting city attorney said came close to violating Wisconsin Open Meetings laws. Rieckman then pointed out exactly what I’d been thinking when I read Esslinger’s “much ado about nothing” comment. This man is up in arms when a deal related to bathrooms at the Leach Amphitheater is worked out between then-mayor Bill Castle and a contractor on the golf course, but he’s perfectly okay with his personally trying to broker a management deal over coffee, lunch or otherwise private meeting between himself and Joe Ferlo from the Grand Opera House for the Grand to take over management of the Leach, had PMI agreed to pull out of their contract early. As I review Esslinger’s votes and comments this past year or so, it seems to me the hypocrisy is flowing from his lips these days almost as fast as the snow falls from the sky on a wintry Wisconsin day. This guy is a real piece of work.


Blogger Stephen Dedow said...

Absolutely on Target Cheryl!

December 22, 2007 2:10 AM  
Blogger Cheryl Hentz said...

A post script to the original post: Isn't it interesting how councilor Esslinger wants to find a way to save some $29,000 a year by sticking it to the city employees using their vehicles for city business, but he expressed little to no concern over the loss of $30,000 or more from PMI for their use of the Leach Amphitheater, had they been let out of their contract midway through the coming year? There seems to be no end to the double standards and hypocrisy Esslinger puts forth while grandstanding in an effort to look like he's doing right by the hardworking commoner.

December 27, 2007 9:00 AM  

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