Commissioners question private party paid by taxpayers - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Commissioners question private party paid by taxpayers

Posted: Updated:

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Mecklenburg County Commissioners raised concerns to county staff members Tuesday evening about the three day opening celebration at Romare Bearden Park over Labor Day Weekend.

The county spent $162,523 for the celebration. The money came from the approved budget, but the funds are taxpayer based.

WBTV obtained a copy of the opening weekend itemized expenses. You can see it by clicking here.

Some of the items included in the $162,523: $14,361 dollars for food and alcohol for the VIP reception; $74,314 for stage and production; $33,000 for singer Jo Dee Messina.

"Somebody else could have sung for less than $33,000," said Commissioner Vilma Leake.

Commissioner Matthew Ridenhour says he was out of town for the celebration but is "troubled" by the expenses.

Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation Director James Garges said "all of these funds were budgeted and approved and were included in the Park and Recreation FY13 and FY14 budget."

Garges added that the alcohol was only served during the VIP event.

"We don't have VIP receptions all the time. It's the first time we've ever done anything like this. It's the first time we've ever opened a park like this," he said.


Copyright 2013 WBTV. All rights reserved

Powered by WorldNow