Dave Kerpen almost fell out of his chair reading the shocking exposé in this morning's Daily News into Helen Marshall's lavish spending on office perks - a chair, he notes, that only cost him $100.
Just last week, Kerpen announced that if he is elected Borough President of Queens he will immediately do away with Marshall's taxpayer-funded team of chauffeurs and fancy town car and put that money into loans and grants for Queens small business owners. Now, it comes out in the News that Marshall spent $103,000 last year on luxurious furniture for her office, including $85,436 on chairs.
"The Borough President's spending isn't just fiscally irresponsible, it's insulting to Queens taxpayers," said Kerpen. "Thousands of residents of our borough have lost or are in danger of losing their jobs and Helen Marshall is spending $4,985 on drapes for her office. How can the Borough President justify spending $5,000 to refurbish her desk and cabinet when Queens has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the county? I call on Helen Marshall to immediately sell off all of this furniture and give this money to Queens families losing their homes and jobs."
Kerpen charged that among the Borough President's other egregious expenditures cited by the News exposé were $4,994 for picture frames and $2,208 for a backdrop banner.
Furniture is far from the Queens Borough President's only regal excess, reports the News. Marshall also spends $50,000 a year on a professional photographer to make sure she has plenty of shots to promote her public appearances.
According to the News article, Marshall's largest pet project, a $21.3 million glass atrium for the rear of Queens Borough Hall, is now on hold "due to the budget crunch". Dave Kerpen said he was surprised to read about the change of status in the $21.3 million glass atrium, since only last month The Astoria Times reported that Marshall was moving forward with the project and hosted a pre-bid conference on February 13th, 2009 at Borough Hall to discuss the atrium. Since then, Marshall has made no public statement indicating that she had changed her mind about moving forward with her plans.
"I am proud that our campaign to reform the wasteful ways of Borough Hall is already working," said Kerpen about Marshall's apparent sudden change of heart about her atrium. "At a time when two hospitals have just closed in Queens, we can't afford to build the Borough President a glass palace. I hope Helen Marshall continues to listen to me and sells her $103,000 in office furniture immediately to help Queens families losing their jobs and homes."
To support Borough President candidate Dave Kerpen's fight to reform Queens government, sign up on his campaign's official Facebook page: http://TinyUrl.com/DKerpen