Arizona

Dec 30, 2012 2:51 PM by Associated Press

Cities spent $1.2 million in discretionary funds

PHOENIX - Ten cities in metropolitan Phoenix spent $1.2 million in taxpayer money known as discretionary funds during the last two years on meals, travel, construction projects and iPads.

An examination of discretionary funds by The Arizona Republic also found that the money was used to pay for more run-of-the-mill expenses like photos, picture frames, candy for a parade and appreciation plaques.

Supporters of discretionary funds say they are a useful tool and can pay for neighborhood projects, charity donations, lobbying trips and training for newly elected leaders.

Some critics say politicians can use the money to take pricey trips or raise their profile by splurging on favored projects in their districts.

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