La Villa board of aldermen voted last Wednesday to raise back their daily trip spending allowance (per diem) from $150 to $250 just two years out from their controversial trip to Las Vegas that saw aldermen pocket over $2,250 in taxpayer money each.
In a story that we regretfully did not cover back in 2016, The Monitor’s Naxiely Lopez reported on La Villa city officials having spent more than $25,000 in city money on a nine-day road trip for a bogus four-day conference in Las Vegas which included over $10,000 in meals and up to $6,400 fraudulent mileage reimbursements.
From the report:
La Villa’s council voted to turn the four-day conference into a nine-day event for the small town’s representatives, which included Mayor Hector Elizondo, newly elected alderman David Palomin Sr., Alderman Joe Contreras, Alderman Mario Lopez and city secretary Lupita Suarez.
Each official received over $1,600 for mileage — totaling more than $8,400 — but they all traveled there in just two vehicles. One belonged to Lopez and the other to city clerk Betty Jo Rodriguez, who was not authorized to go, but requested time off for the trip
Records indicate the elected officials received $250 for meals and incidental expenses for each of the nine days of the trip, totaling to $2,250 for each member of the council. The city secretary, however, only obtained $125 per day for a total of $1,125. Overall, the city spent over $10,000 on meals.
In addition, the city spent $3,150 on registration fees and $3,925 on hotel rooms, records show.
The U.S. General Services Administration, which provides per diem rates for government entities, suggests a rate of $93 dollars per day for expenses in Las Vegas during May. Had the city followed this suggested rate, total expenses for meals would have been $4,185.
In response to their ill-received trip, the board of aldermen voted to bring the per diem rate down to $150, still well above the $51 suggested per diem for federal employees.
Fast forward to last Wednesday and La Villa’s board of aldermen, for no apparent reason other than as a giant “fuck you” to the residents who voted them in, decided that the old rate of $250 per day, five times higher than the federal suggestion, was perfectly reasonable.
Their reasoning behind the per diem raise?
I’m not fucking kidding.
From The Monitor:
Alderman David Palomin, who seconded Jorge Lopez’s motion to raise the per diem rate, said it was merited because “sometimes we have a breakdown on the road, and we don’t have enough money to fix it.”
“Like last time, we had two flats, so we had to buy new tires,” Palomin, who’s been on the board for about two years, said.
Interestingly back in 2016, Alderman Mario Lopez was quoted as saying that he was “embarrassed” over the Vegas fiasco, and had voiced support in lowering the per diem when he said “I’ve tried to change it, and it takes a majority to decide if they can lower it down or not. One person can’t do it. If it’s in the policy what can I do, right?”
What CAN you do Mario “AC Slater” Lopez? Well, for one thing, how about NOT voting to increase it back to $250? (which is exactly what he did)
Another interesting caveat to this story is shortly after their Vegas cash-grab, both Alderman Jose Contreras and his cousin Derrick Palomin (son of Alderman David Palomin Sr.) were arrested for stealing caliche from Hidalgo County Precinct 1, their employer.
The Monitor released an editorial this morning, wagging their finger at the city as hard as they could, but understandably with limitations.
Allow me to take it from here.
The cunts on the La Villa board of aldermen and the city officials who took that Vegas trip or were complicit in allowing such blatant misappropriation of their residents’ money should all be in prison. There is absolutely no excuse as to why any reasonable person could willingly line their pockets with THAT much money that doesn’t even belong to them.
We live in the poorest region in the continental United States, and one trip down La Villa will tell you that their residents live much worse. La Villa aldermen think it’s reasonable to spend $250 a day on food when a bulk of their own residents live on $250 a week. It’s irresponsible and disgusting; perfectly befitting of the criminals that they are.
So, on behalf of the little guy:
David Palomin Sr., fuck you for taking the trip that brought ZERO businesses to La Villa and for raising a dumbass loser son who was arrested for allegedly stealing dirt from the county.
Jose “Joe” Contreras, fuck you for taking the trip that was obviously a cash grab to benefit nobody but yourselves and for being stupid enough to get arrested for, again, stealing fucking dirt, loser.
Hector Elizondo, fuck you for basically piloting the biggest scam in your city’s history. Thank God you lost your mayoral seat a week later.
Jorge Lopez, fuck you for legit talking straight out of your own asshole by justifying the per diem on car trouble. If you’re going to lie, at least put a little bit of effort into it before you run away from reporters.
Mario Lopez, fuck you for having the opportunity to stick up for what you thought was right back in 2016 only to crumble faster than your own delicate psyche. In all honesty, I’d tell you to get therapy, but something tells me you’d just do it on the tax payer’s dime.
Photo Credit: The Monitor