McGinn Administration's iPhone Bill: $1,413 a Month

By Erica C. Barnett January 12, 2010

[Erica's story about Mayor Mike McGinn's iPhone budget was originally published yesterday afternoon.]

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In a story first reported by the Seattle Times, Mayor Mike McGinn said he decided against providing health care for the month of January to six of his predecessor Greg Nickels' staff members because he wanted to save public dollars.

Deputy Mayor Phil Fujii told the Times: "With a new administrantion coming in, we're being very protective of public funds."

At the same time as he was cutting off Nickels staffers' benefits, however, a PubliCola records request shows that McGinn was shelling out well over $3,000 for 15 iPhones for his staff—plus more than $1,400 a month for service. McGinn's office did not buy AppleCare warranties (mine cost about $240) for the phones, according to spokesman Mark Matassa.

I have an email in to McGinn spokesman Mark Matassa to find out if the city insured the 15 phones. Even without any warranty, the mayor's office will spend around $17,000 a year on monthly charges. (One staffer, Candace Inagi, got a BlackBerry instead; that phone, according to the records request, cost the city $1.08.)

The mayor's office didn't have an estimate of how much providing health care to six employees for one month would have cost the city.
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