Last summer, the FOP Lodge 7 under President Dean Angelo hosted the annual golf outing. This one, though, was different than all previous golf outings.
What made this outing different was that the Lodge didn’t break even financially, as it had in prior years. In fact, there was a sizable deficit. In the end, the members were left holding the golf bag, so to speak.
The evidence of this financial fiasco was covered in the September 2016 newsletter:
"…participants started the nearly 10-hour extravaganza by lacing up new golf shoes courtesy of the Lodge… This was the first time each player was gifted a brand new pair of Nike golf shoes, a retail value of up to $100.…"
The glossy newsletter article boasted that the FOP members paid for the shoes. The article goes on to say that there were more than 500 participants. Five hundred multiplied by 100 equals $50,000.00.
But don’t worry. Our dues didn’t buy $50,000.00 worth of shoes. At the January, 2017, general membership meeting, an FOP board member was asked if the Lodge went over budget on the outing. The board member acknowledged that the Lodge had gone over budget by more than $25,000.00. More than $25,000.00 is less than $50,000.00.
So, it seems, not all the gift golf shoes were over budget. It’s not that bad. Is it?
But here is the most important question: What did the members get out of it? Rather than pass out brand new golf shoes, couldn’t the money spent in buying golf shoes have been better spent, like helping officers who have been stripped? Wouldn’t that money be better spent in the legal fund, the fund that will likely be tapped to the bone in the coming years?
Equally important, what say did the members have in this gift buying? Would they have approved this policy ahead of time if they knew they would be holding the golf bag to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars?
To some FOP members, the gift giving might reek of vote buying.
Angelo’s expensive golf outing will not break the FOP’s bank, not at all. But it might just be one more example of an administration that is woefully out of touch with the members of its own Lodge.