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Councilman Martinez and Credit Card Abuse

September 29, 1985

Your criticism in Sunday's editorial (Sept. 22) did not accurately represent my views. No one in my City Council office has a city credit card, and I do not use a credit card in my furniture business. The little plastic devils just invite abuse.

I feel it is an individual's responsibility to provide his own food. Most private sector businesses that I know of (including my own) are willing to reimburse their employees for a specific entertainment purpose that is considered promotional or that provides an identifiable economical benefit . I apply the same rules to my council responsibility. The Internal Revenue Service makes a point of policing the private sector to assure compliance with its tax regulations. Even though the city does not pay taxes, I think that, if we were to behave as though we did, it would cause us to be more critical of our policies and procedures.

We don't need to investigate what other cities are doing to clean our own house. We should adopt the IRS policies to effectively justify the paying of deductible expenses. We can't expect the taxpaying public to accept a double standard. Strict IRS guidelines for them and freewheeling spending for city officials doesn't make sense. Let's reimburse legitimate expenses rather than issue city officials a blank check.

BILL CLEATOR

City councilman

San Diego

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