Hillsborough commissioners: Let them not even eat cake
One lousy slice of cheesecake has ruined it for everyone at County Center. Hillsborough County commissioners nixed a proposal by fellow board member Kevin Beckner Wednesday to set aside money for an employee appreciation day at County Center. Beckner made the case that county employees have been asked a lot in recent years. They've been made to absorb more duties through multiple rounds of layoffs while having their pay frozen. Why not, just once, set aside $5 to $10 an employee so that each county department can recognize those who remain, through an office lunch or breakfast of some sort at the bosses' discretion perhaps. Somewhere between $20,000 and $50,000 for the county's roughly 4,500 employees. But other commissioners, while saying they appreciated county employees, voiced concern about providing money for food. They cited the multiple news stories in 2009 about the Tampa Bay Workforce Alliance's lavish spending on office meals that famously and repeatedly highlighted the purchase of a $9 slice of cheesecake at one restaurant. "I serve on the workforce board," said Commissioner Sandy Murman. "We are still living with the nightmare of cheesecake." Commissioners decided to evaluate ways to appreciate employees next year.