On Aug. 28, Ryan Provenzano placed an online order with Nordstrom.
Algonquin Township’s deputy road commissioner bought 18 pairs of Nike socks ($72), three pairs of Levi’s 514 jeans ($178.50) and a $150 pair of Keen Gypsum waterproof hiking boots. With taxes, the bill came to $425.53, according to records obtained by the Northwest Herald.
On Wednesday, that bill was included in the highway department’s monthly bills packet for the review by Algonquin Township officials.
Trustee Rachael Lawrence raised questions about whether the road district’s clothing allowance policy allows Provenzano to spend government dollars on the items he bought.
“If somebody wants to spend their clothing allowance at Saks Fifth Avenue, that’s up to them,” Lawrence said. “I do not believe this is in accordance with current policy.”
Lawrence pointed out Provenzano’s ordered boots did not include steel toes.
“I think going to Nordstrom is a mistake also,” Trustee Dan Shea said.
The main reason Lawrence motioned to pull the bill, while she “may disagree with where he shopped and what he bought,” she said, was this: “It exceeds what I believe to be the policy, and without Andrew Gasser here to confirm that policy, I can’t approve it.”
The board voted, 4-0, (Trustee Dave Chapman was out sick) to pull the Nordstrom bill and a reimbursement request for money spent on a road district trip to a conference.
The Northwest Herald in an email asked Gasser to provide his clothing allowance policy, and he did. The policy covered all of Provenzano’s purchases – except the boots.
“Mr. Provenzano returned the boots for the steel-toed version and will be reimbursed up to the $150 that is covered under this policy,” Gasser wrote. “Levis are similar to Carhartt pants. Socks are undergarments.”
The road district’s clothing allowance policy grants $150 a year for steel-toed safety shoes or boots and $250 a year for clothing items, including outerwear made by Carhartt or a similar brand, undergarments made by Under Armour or similar brands, work gloves, work hats and cargo shorts.
Former Highway Commissioner Bob Miller used the same policy.