Cleveland Retreat Menu and Cost

CLEVELAND (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-Team found out what senior Cleveland city officials ate at a special rally when the food bill topped $3,500.

Months ago, we revealed that Cleveland City Hall hosted a retreat for the mayor and his cabinet members.

The city spent $3,515 on food for 20 people for a day and a half at the Skylight Penthouse, an upscale event center.

So we took a closer look.

We filed a registration request for the menu.

Dinner included Seared Organic Salmon and Wood Grilled Chicken Breast at $70 per person.

A buffet lunch included a salad bar with chicken, vegetables and fruit for $27 per person. Oh, and don’t forget the desserts listed on the menu, including vanilla cheesecake bites with raspberry buttercream topping. Breakfast included muffins, pastries, bagels and fruit at $15 per person.

We shared the menu with a West Side activist.

Thérèse Pohorence supports the mayor and his promises of change, but not that.

She said, “Well, that’s a lot. She added: “People see what their expenses are and then they read what expenses like this are and think they’ve been tricked and sold a bill of goods.”
When we first announced the meeting, city council members and others spoke.

The city spent a total of $30,000 on the retreat, bringing in a consultant and more.

In May, City Hall released a statement calling it “worth the investment” for “professional development and training.”

At a press conference Thursday, Mayor Justin Bibb talked about monitoring city spending, saying, “We’re fiscally responsible.”
But, we repeatedly asked to speak to the mayor or another official on camera about the retreat, and that never happened.

Could another retreat take place? We did some checking. The mayor’s office told us his cabinet just met for a mid-year review. But this time it happened at a place where there was no cost for the space. And, a spokesperson pointed out, “We all brought our own lunches.”
Therese Pohorence hopes the days of the $70 dinner are over.

She said, “It’s a step in the right direction.”

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