Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Public servants or self-serving fraudsters on public assistance?

Interesting article in our local paper on the sparsely populated side of the state. Seems the State Auditor is concerned with travel costs paid by Washington school district for professional meetings. Spending too much money on hotel rooms, not renting economy cars, etc. Now, we are talking about 1/3 of 1% of the total amount of money spent on schools, but "reducing travel costs...would free up more dollars to educate kids." (Tri-City Herald, 11/17/08, B1)

Paying the school superintendent less than the governor would have the same effect. Not purchasing contaminated land would have the same effect. Not lease/purchasing pianos through a purposefully convoluted process (and not being able to find the paperwork or checks) would have the same effect. Not paying relatives above the standard pay grade would have the same effect. The list is extensive, Mr Sonntag.

Yes, it was the bean counters who finally got Al Capone, but it seems that our Auditor's office is missing the big picture here. Knocking a district for staying at the hotel/convention center rather than the Motel 6 at the edge of town (and having to perhaps rent a car to get to the conference) while ignoring the waste of millions of dollars on the purchase of contaminated property that the district has refused for years to purchase (or any of the dozen or so issues placed before the Auditor's office) seems myopic.

But perhaps, if the Auditor can get an article in the paper every once in a while that "shows" he is doing "something," that would satisfy his goal of looking productive even if the big fish get away.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is all just a dog and pony show with the public getting a healthy pile of excrement from the stinky end of each.