Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Transportation options for Dr. Docca

As widely reported by the media, Board of Education member Dr. Judith Docca is currently unable to drive due to health issues. The taxpayers (with the consent of the Board of Education) have been covering the cost of taxi transportation for Dr. Docca.  The cost of some of her trips has exceeded $400.00.

The Parents' Coalition has found some alternative methods of transportation for long trips, all of which are just as fast as a taxi, cost less than an taxi and are more comfortable than a taxi.

A few excerpts from the BeMyDD website:
Customers using BeMyDD's Designated and Personal Driver services are charged a flat hourly rate with a three hour minimum.  This flat rate ranges between $12.50-$17.00 per hour depending on city.  Our driver will drive you in your car any distance and take you and all of your passengers to any number of stops at no extra charge.
We not only require our drivers display professionalism and integrity while on duty, but they must also have displayed in the past and continue to display these qualities in order for us to recommend them to operate your vehicle. Any potential driver whose background check uncovers the following will not be providing our service:

  • Felonies      
  • Sex offenses        
  • DUI’s in past 5 yrs       
  • 2+ moving violations in past 3 years
  • Any accidents in past 3 years

Right At Home Care and Assistance

For $20.95 per hour on weekdays and $23.05 per hour on weekends, a trained caregiver will provide physical assistance and driving service using the customer's automobile.

Right at Home of Montgomery County, MD

11821 Parklawn Drive
Suite 302
Rockville, MD 20852
Phone: 301-255-0066
Community LiaisonBeth Wetzel
Intake CoordinatorElizabeth Coffman
Staffing Coordinator: Erica Adom
Nursing Supervisor: Nana Acqua
HR Manager: Jessica Peele

This above companies are just two of many in this area that provide these services.

As an example, for a six hour trip (90 minutes driving each way plus 3 hours waiting time while Dr. Docca attends meetings) to a location 75 miles away using Dr. Docca's car, Right at Home would charge $125.70 for their services. Dr. Docca would be reimbursed $0.56 per mile for use of her car, which comes to $84.00 for the round trip.   The total cost to the taxpayers would be $209.70.  This is about half of what a taxi would charge. would cost even less, and is suitable if Dr. Docca does not need the specialty care services that Right at Home provides.

The Parents' Coalition sends our wishes for a speedy recovery to Dr. Docca and hopes that Dr. Docca will consider these types of travel options for long trips instead of taxis.


  1. You would think that the BOE secretary would be capable of providing such logistical information.

  2. This whole thing with Docca and her taxpayer funded $4,000+ taxi bill in the last 6 months raises a question; Do other BOE members get to "expense" their transportation costs for any BOE-related activity (drive to meetings, gas money, mileage, drive to conferences, etc.)? If Docca can do it, why not them?

    1. Because Docca is disabled and it'd be illegal if she wasn't provided the necessary accommodations to do her job. This woman has been through enough, just leave it alone already.

    2. Thanks MCPS PR Dept, but no matter how many times you say that it still is not true.

      These cab trips are outrageous, excessive and unconscionable. There is nothing that a BOE member in Montgomery County needs to do in St. Mary's County. NOTHING.

      There is no requirement that any BOE members be transported anywhere in private cabs.

      We know making up things is your job, but this one goes right up there with the "you can store grass in a shed over winter." It's just not true.

    3. Let's add - if the MCPS PR Dept. thinks that it the requirement of MCPS to transport every employee to work, then let's get all 20,000 signed up for private cabs today.

    4. The conference Dr. Docca went to in St Mary's County was a BOE-related conference. While the expense is excessive, it is an allowable type of cost. The problem is not Dr. Docca, who is disabled (let's please be sensitive to this). The problem is that Roland Ikheloa, the Chief of Staff for the BOE, should have arranged a more cost-effective car service for Dr. Docca. (Oh that's right, HE was out buying car tires for his personal vehicle with an MCPS credit card, so was too busy to help Dr. Docca arrange appropriate transportation.) She is probably left to making all these arrangements herself, without help. I don't object so much to this cost - I object to all the rest of spending that is outrageous, including sending the high school BOE member to stay at a luxury Marriott Marquis hotel in San Diego for a National School Board Meeting. That kid does not need to travel anywhere on the taxpayers' dime.

    5. There was no conference that was BOE related. If the was, it would have been part of the BOE minutes. No report, no record, no BOE related event. Let's not make things up. Let's stick to the facts. Our BOE operates in Montgomery County, not in St. Mary's County.

      There are lots of "excuses" for all of these excesses. Bottom line is none of them are justified. Taxpayers fund the BOE at the mandatory maintenance of effort level to pay for the free, public education of ALL children in Montgomery County. There is no maintenance of effort funding for perks.

    6. This is the same school system that cries and whines and says they "have" to charge students illegal fees to attend public school classes because if they were to provide ALL children with a free public education they wouldn't have enough money.

      Sorry, these charges are offensive and in no way related to providing ALL children with a free public education which is the mandate of the public school system in our state.

    7. This:

      There isn't enough money in MCPS for Ipads for students with severe autism who have no other means of communicating, but there is money for a day trip in a private cab? Give me a break.

    8. @Anonymous July 17, 2014 at 1:31 PM
      "The conference Dr. Docca went to in St Mary's County was a BOE-related conference. While the expense is excessive, it is an allowable type of cost. The problem is not Dr. Docca, who is disabled (let's please be sensitive to this)."

      Is Dr. Docca not capable of making a few phone calls to arrange for a driving service instead of a Taxi?

  3. Why not carpool like everyone else? No other Board members are available to pick her up? Seems like it would be a nice thing to do!

  4. The Montgomery County Board of Education has been paying themselves mileage to attend meetings and drive around the county. Those charges are shown in the expense reports that we have made public.

    1. And the BOE members will be paying taxes on the mileage reimbursements they received to travel to and from Carver from their homes. Those costs will be disallowed by the IRSa as allowable reimbursements - it's actually unreported income.

  5. Seems to me that Ms. Docca needs to look in her backyard at all the failing middle and elementary schools she has in her district. Wonder if she's taken a cab ride to any of her failing schools lately???

  6. Some local government entities--which have budgets much smaller than MCPS--have found ways for absent elected officials to participate in their meetings, such as thru audio hookups. They've been able to speak on meeting issues as well as cast votes.

  7. For now, all BOE credit cards need to be rescinded. All expenses should be paid out-of-pocket by BOE members and then strictly reviewed under new and stringent guidelines for subsequent reimbursement. IF credit cards are ever used again, there are credit cards that simultaneously post charges to a public web site for instantaneous public review. Taxpayers would know in REALTIME how the credit cards are being used. If American Express does not offer this service, other card issuers do.


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