Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

February 26, 2014

City charge cards gone

BY JOE OLENICK
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —

While the Common Council considers a new policy to guide the use of purchasing cards, Mayor Anne E. McCaffrey decided to do away with the two city credit cards.

McCaffrey told the Council on Wednesday that she has given the cards to Treasurer Michael White and told him to cancel the accounts. Any outstanding credit card bills will be paid.

”The credit cards that the city has, they are gone, canceled,” Common Council President Joseph C. Kibler said.

The decision comes after an attorney was hired to investigate the use of former mayor Michael W. Tucker’s city credit card to pay over $9,000 in expenses related to a golf tournament fundraiser for the Youth and Recreation Department. A report is expected within the next couple of weeks.

In place of a credit card, the city will use purchasing cards, City Attorney John Ottaviano said.

A purchase card is linked to an account established through a bank and each card will be coded for a specific department. Department heads will have to sign out their card and usage will be allowed up to $1,500.

Smaller purchases that can be made within driving distance of City Hall will be policed through the Council’s procurement policy. Any meals and travel by an employee would have to be charged on a personal card and then reimbursed by the city. But those purchases would have to be approved beforehand by the Council.

The proposed purchasing card policy includes penalties for misuse of a card, ranging from suspension of the card to termination of the employee.

The Council will consider the purchasing card policy at a future meeting, most likely next month.

In other city news:

• A swearing-in ceremony for McCaffrey and Kibler will be held at 6 p.m. March 5 at the Palace Theatre, 2 East Ave. A regular Common Council meeting will follow.

McCaffrey was officially sworn in as mayor on Monday morning. She appointed Kibler as Common Council president later that day.

• The Council will consider selling 352 Gooding St. to St. Patrick’s Cemetery, which is next to the property. There are no structures erected on the property but there is a foundation that will have to be taken out, Ottaviano said. 

The property is worth between $500 and $1,500, Ottaviano added. If St. Patrick’s handles the foundation removal, the property could be sold for $500, he said.