Sunday, June 22, 2014

My Two Cents: Local Travel Tips For BOE Members

by Joseph Hawkins 
Dear Board of Education, 
Subject: Local travel tips to save money 
Thank goodness! You’re coming to your senses and plan to ban overnight hotel stays within a 50-mile radius of Rockville. With acts like this, you might just get your American Express credit card scandals behind you. 
Last week for work, I attended a U.S. Department of Education two-day conference at the Washington Hilton Hotel, located in D.C. This is the same Hilton some Board members back in February spent two nights in on the public’s dime. I thought I would share a few tips about how I behaved — all with the intent of being a good steward of (federal) taxpayer dollars and saving money. 
1. Sleep in your own bed. With the Hilton being a mere eight miles from my Bethesda home, it never crossed my mind to stay at the hotel. 
2. Eat your own food. I ate breakfast each morning before heading out to Hilton. It never occurred to me that someone else should pay for my morning granola. And even though I had several cups of coffee each day — all purchased from the hotel’s coffee shop, I’m not seeking reimbursement. On a normal work day, I would have paid for my own coffee anyway.
          ...continues at link below:


  1. This is really very simple: increase the pay and you won't have this going on. It's close to a full-time job and pays poverty wages.

    1. It is nowhere near a full-time job, just look at the mileage logs, and it doesn't pay wages. BOE members get a stipend to cover expenses. The BOE hasn't even been setting the MCPS budget in the last 10 years. They aren't even doing what they are supposed to do as elected officials.
      Simple research on this issue will show that the salary of the elected official does not determine whether or not they will misuse or abuse taxpayer dollars. Elected officials at all levels have been found doing this.

  2. Mileage does not give a complete picture. I am not sure the evidence shows a pattern of misuse or abuse. And I think you asked current and former BOE members on how much time they devote or devoted, you might change your view. How many work full-time or even part-time while serving? Laura B was one exception and she couldn't make it work for more than one term. And, BTW, I am sure her records are pristine.

    1. We already know that full-time employees misuse and abuse credit cards in MCPS. A full-time job does not stop abuse of public funds.

      In the past many BOE members had full-time jobs. Just because the current crop of BOE members don't have full-time jobs is no excuse for abuse of public funds.


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