Phoenix tax dollars spent on food, flowers, and resorts

The City of Phoenix has downsized by over 1000 employees, laying off at least 10, cut library hours, closed swimming pools, and demanded and received $40 million in “stimulus” money from the feds to pay for more light rail (which no one is riding we’re finding out) and handouts of $15,000 each to people who buy foreclosed homes.

Meanwhile, Phoenix City Council members and Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon have been spending your tax dollars like crazy on personal amenities for themselves – personal amenities that even most private companies wouldn’t be splurging on during these rough economic times. Wonder how long before the City of Phoenix announces a tax increase to pay for for – ahem, important things like infrastructure? Channel 15 did an investigative report into this wasteful spending, excerpted below:

A review of the City of Phoenix checkbooks by the ABC15 Investigators shows thousands of dollars spent at high-end resorts, restaurants, and even flowers.

Over the last three years, members of the Phoenix City Council have spent more than $152,000 on food and catering.


Phoenix City Councilwoman Peggy Neely hosts her monthly district meetings at Roy’s at the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa, where she has spent more than $24,000 in total.

Last February, when the city was already facing a $90 million deficit, the council dropped $2,100 on food and entertainment at the Bougainvillea Golf Course near Baseline and 59th Avenue for Councilman Michael Nowakowski’s inauguration party.

An additional $4,100 was spent on shirts, pens, and magnets as promotional items for Nowakowski.

The mayor and council also spent more than $7,000 on coffee even though there’s a Starbucks downstairs in the City Hall atrium, and more than $9,000 went to maintaining all the plants and floral arrangements for their offices.

Council members have spent thousands at Tom’s Tavern, the Downtown Deli, and Paradise Bakery.

Why do they get their meals paid for, when the rest of us don’t? I have plenty of friends who work in high-level areas of government, including elected officials, and none of them ever charges meals to the taxpayers!

Click here for the full story and a list of their top 5 food and beverage expenditures


  1. Question? says

    Do you actually think that they are spending the money on themselves? Like, as in, they are having catered meals every day? Come on, you have to be smarter than that. Ever heard of constituent services?

  2. Conservative does not mean Republican says

    You are a dope if you think all of this is done in the name of constituent services. It might not all have been spent directly on themselves, but such expenditures listed here are a complete waste of taxpayer money.

  3. I watched the news story online. I’ve been to a Peggy Neely breakfast and paid my $5 there too so I’m not sure why they had to lie about that. And if you notice, the amounts are over a 2 year period. Seems to me they were stretching for a story.

    Gordon isn’t a lawyer for the city and should pay for his own dues.

    My office building spent almost $10,000 on coffee last year so that’s not really out of whack either.

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