Phone Bill Problems in Pevely

19 Oct

Pevely alderman Steve Markus (known for his unpleasant dais demeanor and for having his Port Authority reappointment rejected) demanded at the October 7 board meeting that he get to see a detailed version of the mayor’s phone bill. The city picks up the tab for the mayor’s cell phone. The mayor resisted the request, calling it politically motivated.

I’m not going to pick a side on this issue, as neither party merits a lot of support. I can also see both sides. The mayor deserves some discretion in talking to constituents, it would seem, without Markus looking at the recipient and duration of every phone call. On the other hand, if the city pays the bill, maybe it should be open for inspection. This looks like a continuation of the ongoing three-way spat in Pevely between the board, the mayor, and the city administrator. Recently, someone on the board (Don Menkhus, as I recall) brought up the idea of changing the mayor’s term in office from 4 years back to 2 years, where it used to be.

The important question here, I think, is why is the city paying so much for the mayor’s phone? The Leader article says his bill is $130 per month. You can get a plan with unlimited minutes and texts for $65 or less – half of what Pevely pays. What kind of plan does he have? Even with a data plan, he could get by for $100. I suggest the city either take mayor John Knobloch to Radio Shack to get a new plan (he can bring his number with him, to address the concern he raises in the article) or give him a monthly stipend of $65. If he wants to spend more to get a better plan, it would be on him. This is one more example of why Pevely is broke. My plan would save the city $800 per year. Not a whole lot, but I am confident there is plenty of low-hanging fruit (as I have documented in these pages) if one really wants to cut spending in Pevely.

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10 Responses to “Phone Bill Problems in Pevely”

  1. Marcia Johnson October 22, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

    The reason why the phone bill is so much is that includes a second line, possibly for a family member, with a separate number. These bills are public record and you can make a Sunshine Law Request for a copy which is what I did. The point of the request in my opinion was to get a justification of the charges and not the recipients and duration of phone calls. Actually, that information was never turned in even after the motion passed at the October 7th board meeting. I believe the reason of the request became evident once it was discovered that a second line was being paid for with tax payer dollars. Only the June and July bills were submitted so who knows how far this goes back.

    Like

    • JC Penknife October 23, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

      If the city is paying the phone bill for a family member of the mayor, that would be a bit of a scandal.

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      • Marcia Johnson October 24, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

        Stayed tuned…
        🙂

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  2. JC Penknife October 26, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

    Marcia, did you get the email I sent you about this?

    Like

    • Marcia Johnson October 28, 2013 at 10:41 am #

      I did not. Did you send it to my yahoo account?

      Like

      • Marcia Johnson October 28, 2013 at 10:44 am #

        False alarm! I received your email and responded. 🙂

        Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. More on the Pevely Mayor’s Phone | Jefferson County Penknife - October 31, 2013

    […] have learned more about the mayor of Pevely’s cell phone bill, which I mentioned here. Requests to view his bill uncovered the fact that the city has been paying for another line, in […]

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  2. High Drama in Pevely as Thomas Ousted | Jefferson County Penknife - December 18, 2013

    […] The tension between the two was obvious. I’m sure that Knobloch didn’t like to have his phone bill malfeasance exposed, and blamed Thomas for […]

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  3. It’s Come to This in Pevely | Jefferson County Penknife - January 22, 2014

    […] meetings. In particular, she has criticized the mayor for financial mismanagement and for his phone bill antics, the board for dismissing city administrator Terry Thomas, and for bad behavior at meetings by […]

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  4. Pevely Audit Released, Performance Rated Poor | Jefferson County Penknife - October 22, 2014

    […] city paid over $12,000 since 2003 for the mayor’s cell phone bill (that saga led to his resignation). The documentation that he submitted was quite shoddy, including […]

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