Did a Morro Bay councilman game the system?

February 6, 2014

George LeageMorro Bay City Councilman George Leage voted to provide money to an event that he was then paid to cater has caused some to question if he is financially benefiting from his elected position. [NewTimes]

On Jan. 11, Leage along with other members of his family catered the Morro Bay 50th birthday celebration kickoff dinner. About 200 attendees paid $50 to attend the dinner catered by Leage’s Great American Fish Company.

Leage is a member of the 50th Anniversary Celebration Committee which organized the event. Along with fellow City Council liaison Nancy Johnson, he battled to get the city council to donate $50,000 for events related to the city’s birthday.

“We gotta realize this is a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and I think this event, it’s a community thing,” Leage said at that meeting. “But you are still going to attract a lot of people from out of town, and it is going to put a little money in the coffers. It’s going to take at least $50,000 to get this going, there’s not doubt about it. I’ll just leave it at that. We gotta do this. I mean, come one, once in a lifetime.”

In the end, League voted for the city to award $15,000 to the 50th Anniversary Celebration Committee for events though he failed to mention his restaurant would be catering the event.

Still unanswered are question of how the funding is being dispersed and how much of the $50 a person charge for the dinner went to Leage. Leage says he was provided $15 a plate and claims that he lost money catering the event.

 


94 Comments

  1. fishing village says:

    Smile, if you want to set this straight you can mail the City money for your food. The taxpayer has no interest in treating you to dinner!! I have lived here 42 years and I’ve never had a ‘free meal’ paid for by the taxpayer. Maybe the Chamber, or others use ‘city money’ to pay for their dinners, but no one I know does. Let’s get this cleared up , no one is so privileged in this town that they get the taxpayers to treat them. Figure something out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  2. fishing village says:

    The 200 people who attended and ate an elegant meal would never have know ‘the City’ was paying for their dinner, if people hadn’t asked questions, not given up when told the committee can spend the money any way they want to, and wondered how a Councilmember can vote on something then benefit from it personally. I’m sure you’d rather that this would just go away, but people deserve to know how their City money is spent!! I’m not surprised you were there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

    • Shocked in MB says:

      I am sorry, but do you not read any other posts? The people who attended the dinner paid $50 per person. The city did not pay for the meal!

      “Councilmember can vote on something then benefit from it personally”. Benefit??????
      Thank God I do not benefit the way Leage did-he probably lost $2000-$3000 for that dinner. Wow, where do I sign up for that benefit.

      Also, remember what was said earlier-The Mayor had a table reserved for himself at the dinner. Along for the “ride” was Noah, Christine and Nancy. So much for all the hidden agendas.

      The money going for Tree plantings, non-profit Morro bay charities for youths, a statue for fisherman’s wives waiting for the men to return.

      Egods!!! I cant believe all the subversive activity that resulted from that dinner to help celebrate/heal Morro Bay.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

      • fishing village says:

        Your $50 didn’t pay for your food, don’t you get it????? The City is being charged for the food! to pay George for providing it!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  3. smile says:

    People for GOD’S SAKE GIVE IT UP! I’m not on the board of the 50th dinner, but I was there along with my husband- who was raised here in Morro Bay. The event was supposed to be a healing kick off event to celebrate Morro Bay’s 50 th anniversary as well as a fund raiser for the “Those Who Wait” statue. There are events planned for the entire year, events that will hopefully bring the community together again. There is history in this town and this dinner celebrated the history; it was not a “good old boys” club. There was no political agenda.

    If you want something to get worked up over-look at the hills. Doesn’t it bother you that there has been very little rain? There are ranchers and farmers who are severely hurting over the lack of rain. But then maybe you don’t eat and don’t’ care where your food comes from.

    Or how about the lack of jobs for our new college graduates? Isn’t that a problem also?

    Get REAL FOLKS!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  4. fishing village says:

    The new times article points out that. Mr. Leage knew he would be catering the event before he voted. He sees nothing wrong with that. The law is very specific and says you can’t vote on something that you will financially benefit from! And Kathy Feng, executive director of California Common Cause, said the situation sounds like a textbook conflict-of-interest case, and Leage should have recused himself from the vote. ‘this is a no-brainer’, she said. ‘There are some gray areas; this is not one of them”. Interim City Attorney, Anne Russel said she was unaware until after the event that Leage had been hired to cater. and she declined to speculate as to whether he should have been recused from the vote. We will all have to wait until the City Council report and the Finance Department review to know how much money was paid out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  5. mbhomeless says:

    this guy’s got some nerve. His red SUV was parked pretty much the whole day and night in that NEWLY-PAINTED, BRIGHT RED DRIVEWAY that was just painted! All these tourists and older people trying to find parking to eat at HIS RESTAURANT, having to walk blocks probably, and here sits the Georgemobile flipping a big middle finger to Morro Bay.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    • fishing village says:

      maybe we should rename this place, Georgetown, did he move? Does anyone check? That’s the thing no body wants to tell these clowns ‘no’.! Thank goodness we have the beginnings of new ‘law enforcers’, with the new attorney set up, and city manager perhaps we can have all the laws obeyed by all the people.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  6. fishing village says:

    If the pro Irons, and anti recall people want to lambast you Pelican1, they would bring up the unbelievable ugliness heaped on Mayor Irons, Christine Johnson and Noah Smuckler during the failed recall attempt. I know so many of you recallers, but was shocked at the nastiness spewed out at the Council meetings. The Council meetings are suppose to be for everyone, members, the audience of children, spouses and relatives as well as friends. I was so saddened and embarrassed by the remarks of the Andrea/Rob supporters. Civility, is gentlemanly and ladylike, in public, you can talk anyway you want to in the back room of the bars, but when you come out to public meetings you owe it to those attending and viewing respect. Respect for everyone!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

    • Pelican1 says:

      Hey Fish, so far this regime has NOT earned my respect. Therefore, I will continue to criticize and lampoon the current “leadership” of Morro Bay. As the opposition “party” it’s my duty. Have a good day.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 8

      • fishing village says:

        whatever, you and your friends owe so many people public apologies that I don’t even know where to begin. If just getting in the way of progress, new ideas and a successful City pleases you, what can I say. There is no way the voters will go back to the old trying to strong arm the CCC with an expensive lobbyist that’s over with. Lawsuits against them is not going to happen. Have a good day.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

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