Industry : Officials' Trip Criticized

A residents group has assailed Industry redevelopment officials for spending more than $16,000 on a trip to New York for a presentation on bond refinancing.

The group, the Industry Civic Planning Assn., said nine city and redevelopment agency officials bought first-class airline tickets for the Feb. 15-18 trip to New York.

John Gregory, director of the watchdog group, questioned the need for such a large delegation and argued that city officials could have saved money by purchasing less expensive tickets.

"The number of city people attending appears to be a case of overkill and the amount of city money spent seems to be excessive," Gregory said.

Among those officials attending the New York presentation were acting Redevelopment Agency Director John Radecki, City Manager Chris Rope, City Atty. Graham Ritchie, Mayor John Ferrero and City Treasurer Phyllis Tucker.

The officials met with insurance and bond rating companies in an attempt to refinance $240 million in tax refund bonds the agency issued in 1983 and 1985.

City officials, who have not heard back from the insurance companies, defended the trip.

"The firms paid all the hotels and meals and we agreed to pay the transportation," Ritchie said. "They asked that we bring as many of the agency members as we could so they could interview as many as they could."

Ritchie said officials decided to travel first class because three of the agency employees were senior citizens and needed the extra comfort.

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