Monday, March 19, 2007

Dom Perignon Lifestyle?

Here in Toledo we have made much of expenses that we believe our Mayor, Carty Finkbeiner should not have made such as a $10,000 bathroom makeover to create a new shower. Yet, in reading articles like this in today's Washington Post our fair Mayor is not even in the same league as:
Smithsonian Secretary Lawrence M. Small's spending has been the subject of intense public scrutiny after The Washington Post published details last month from a confidential inspector general's report delving into his $2 million in housing and office expenses over the past six years.

Spreadsheets and invoices obtained by The Post include previously unreleased details on expenses deemed by the Smithsonian Board of Regents to be authorized and "reasonable" under the terms of Small's employment agreement.

Small spent nearly $160,000 on the redecoration of his offices in the institution's main building on the Mall shortly after he took the helm of the world's largest museum system in 2000. The expenses include $4,000 for two chairs from the English furniture-maker George Smith, $13,000 for a custom-built conference table and $31,000 for Berkeley stripe upholstery.

Small has also received $1.15 million in housing allowances over a six-year period in return for agreeing to use his 6,500-square-foot home in Woodley Park for Smithsonian functions. To justify those expenses, Small has submitted receipts for $152,000 in utility bills, $273,000 in housekeeping services and $203,000 in maintenance charges, including $2,535 to clean a chandelier. The home-repair invoices show $12,000 for upkeep and service on his backyard swimming pool, including $4,000 to replace the lap pool's natural gas heater and pump.

I don't know about you, but I don't see how anyone could consider these expenses "reasonable".
Small, whose total compensation will top $915,000 this year, said in a statement that he is declining to comment while an ongoing Senate Finance Committee investigation looks at his expenses.

I love history as much as anyone, yet I cannot see any justification for anyone to be paid that much not even at the Smithsonian. The pure and utter abuse of tax dollars in this situation is appalling. Not to mention using this as a defense:
"He has raised $1.1 billion, and contributed more than half a million dollars himself," Sant said yesterday. "I don't think he does this job for money. He has been generous with his own money and he's gotten other people to be generous with their own money."

Ummm...Okay, he's donating back some of what taxpayers paid? That doesn't make it any better...not to me.

1 comment:

Hooda Thunkit said...

Lisa,

You're just not a high-roller kinda person, otherwise you'd consider these "reasonable" expenses as incidentals.

:-]