Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 Monica Conyers sliding under the radar Previous Next
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Genesyxx
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Username: Genesyxx

Post Number: 872
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2008 - 5:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just look at how short this story is:

DETROIT (AP) Expense reports obtained by The Detroit News show Detroit City Councilwoman Monica Conyers has billed the city nearly $12,300 so her former top aide could accompany her to pension-related conferences in the U.S. and overseas.

Sam Riddle says he went with the council president pro tem and wife of Congressman John Conyers to New York, Portugal and Hong Kong to educate himself and offer her investment advice.

But some have questioned billing the city when its pension system is the beneficiary.

Riddle resigned last week as Monica Conyers' chief of staff but still handles her media calls. He says Monica Conyers didn't want to comment.
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The_rock
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Username: The_rock

Post Number: 2170
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2008 - 6:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have said it before and I will say it again, and well before me others have said it before and others will say it again:
"There ain't nuttin' like having your feet in the public trough."
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Lilpup
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Username: Lilpup

Post Number: 3704
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2008 - 6:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

One of the tv stations last night indicated there was nothing wrong with this because the pension system has no provisions for paying for anyone in this situation except board members and Riddle was paid for from Conyers' alloted Council staff budget.

The impression received was that this is a non-story and was part of the mud slinging directed at Councilmembers over the mayoral resignation resolution.
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Jonesy
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Username: Jonesy

Post Number: 505
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2008 - 6:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm sure the media was given this by the Kilpatrick Machine.
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Michigansheik
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Username: Michigansheik

Post Number: 273
Registered: 09-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2008 - 7:17 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

i want to be someone's chief of staff.
It seems like the best/easiest way to get all the perks and you only get trashed one time and then you resign!
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Kenp
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Username: Kenp

Post Number: 1064
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2008 - 8:39 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Quote from Fox, "Sam Riddle says he went with the council president pro tem and wife of Congressman John Conyers to New York, Portugal and Hong Kong to educate himself and offer her investment advice."

I heard Riddle on the news last night explaining why they stay at the most expensive hotels. He said thats where the money is, thats where the players are.
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 5470
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2008 - 9:47 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I really don't know much about this, so I am honestly asking. Is it normal that the City of Detroit Pension fund has 4.5 BILLION dollars in assets, while the city hurts for money?
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 5471
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2008 - 9:49 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

But some question the wisdom of billing the city's budget for the trips -- with hotel stays at the Four Seasons Hotel in Lisbon and the W New York - Times Square -- when the pension system, which has assets of $4.5 billion, is the beneficiary.
The pension board only pays the travel expenses of its own employees and trustees. Some members say it is rare for personal aides to accompany trustees on trips. Council members are allotted nearly $650,000 to run their offices and there are few restrictions on how they spend that money.



$650,000 to run their offices?
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Buyamerican
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Username: Buyamerican

Post Number: 476
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2008 - 10:21 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"I really don't know much about this, so I am honestly asking. Is it normal that the City of Detroit Pension fund has 4.5 BILLION dollars in assets, while the city hurts for money?"

Good investments and planning. To my knowledge, the City of Detroit (specifically the Mayor) cannot dip into these funds as they are allocated to City of Detroit retirees, both General City and DPD, DFD. Not that any of the Mayors haven't tried to get their hands on it for their own selfish purposes. Hopefully it will remain protected for those who have served the City for years and have contributed to those funds for those years.
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Dannyv
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Username: Dannyv

Post Number: 116
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2008 - 12:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Right on, my brother
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Mrsjdaniels
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Username: Mrsjdaniels

Post Number: 524
Registered: 08-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2008 - 1:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

650000 is way to darn much...that is why they all have "chiefs of staff"

and the Kilpatrick machine NO DOUBT leaked this info....

what a gravy job - going to Hong Kong
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L_b_patterson
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Username: L_b_patterson

Post Number: 337
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2008 - 1:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Pension funds are untouchable for paying for anything other than the beneficiaries.
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Detroitbill
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Username: Detroitbill

Post Number: 490
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2008 - 2:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I wonder if anyone asked them for any tangible results from these junkets.. There should be an evaluation committee that reviews any of these sort of trips made and results. If there are none they should be scrapped and only allowed once a tangible business case/ agenda/ expectations scenario is submitted. Imagine, run it like a business would.. What I found so offensive is these clowns seem to think they can just do what want and go where they want on public dollars with no scrutiny.. Or on the other hand maybe they arent clowns at all, just opportunists, as they know they can get away with it.
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Lilpup
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Username: Lilpup

Post Number: 3717
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2008 - 2:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If the pension fund really did achieve a 23-25% return as Riddle says, then it was well worth it.

Hong Kong is not at all out of the question for the business of a $4.5 billion dollar investment fund.
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Buyamerican
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Username: Buyamerican

Post Number: 478
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2008 - 3:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"If the pension fund really did achieve a 23-25% return as Riddle says, then it was well worth it."

Absolutely worth it and if Riddle or Conyers needs to travel anywhere in order to help retirees and beneficiaries, then I say "go for it". Those funds don't grow without expert advice and experts to oversee it. I don't see waste and I don't see frivolous spending (speaking of pension money)...YET!
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L_b_patterson
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Username: L_b_patterson

Post Number: 338
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2008 - 9:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Exactly Buyamerican, these pension funds don't run themselves. You can't just throw billions of dollars in a bunch of low return bonds/stocks/etc. You have to make sure that money lasts for every single member of the pension. It takes a lot of work to keep it properly funded.

Did the meeting specifically instruct them how make 23%? Probably not. But did it help manage their assets and make them more aware of regulatory changes and trends in the marketplace to make them better fiduciaries? Probably so.
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Detroitej72
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Username: Detroitej72

Post Number: 679
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2008 - 9:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What drives the pension fund, drives city council!
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Eastsiderules
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Username: Eastsiderules

Post Number: 35
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2008 - 9:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Her husband has ripped off the taxpayers for years, why not her.
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Figebornu
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Username: Figebornu

Post Number: 84
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2008 - 9:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroit has lost over half of its population, so that means its representative body, the Detroit City Council, should either be reduced or turned into a part time Council.
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Lilpup
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Username: Lilpup

Post Number: 3722
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2008 - 9:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

or one could argue there was under-representation before

Nine council members for a city of 900,000 is not excessive.

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