Bramanti questions seemingly carefree METRO expenditures

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On the one hand, it’s good that METRO is posting more — and more detailed — financial info online. Transparent financial behavior should be the norm at taxpayer-supported organizations. On the other hand, some of the transactions suggest an approach to using the public’s money that is a bit too carefree.

Retired blogger and all-around smart accounting guy Matt Bramanti emailed a few things he discovered recently poking around METRO’s financials, and agreed to let us post his email (below). If you see any other interesting expenditures in the online records, feel free to add them in the comments.

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This is maddening. Some choice items:

$1,483 worth of custom-blended frozen raw dog food.

$1,300 for “iPad supplies,” whatever that is. Plus another $68 for iPad software. Words with Friends isn’t just gonna play itself, you know.

$600 for parts and labor to repair a pool table. A pool table!

$38 for a Franklin Covey organizer refill. You’d think they could just use the iPads.

$249 to buy a “red bow for 100th shelter.” Must have been some bow.

$5,816 to Liberty Cab Company.

$1,862 worth of Ozarka Water.

$45 for a cell phone charger.

This isn’t fraud or anything, but it’s apparent that they just don’t care what stuff costs. Nobody buys a $45 phone charger or a $90 bag of dog food or $460 worth of iPad styluses when they’re spending their own money. And this is just the credit cards! It doesn’t even touch what they’re writing checks for, like $23,448 to Fiesta Cab or the $9,000/month coffee habit.

— Matt Bramanti

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