When it came to light that Glenda Ritz had spent some $86K (from office savings) on office renovations, I criticized her. So did Abdul-Hakim Shabazz and many others.
I stand by that criticism today. Ritz deserved some criticism for that, but her predecessor, well, you just have to hear it to believe it. In Friday's Indianapolis Star, columnist Matt Tully wrote an excellent piece discussing some expenses by Tony Bennett in his final summer in office that made Ritz's office renovations look like chump change.
According to Tully, Bennett spent $1.7 million in taxpayer dollars on a state-of-the-art video conferencing system that no one can seem to understand the use or the reason for. The piece states that part of it is installed, but the rest of it is apparently useless.
Not surprisingly, this didn't make the front page of Shabazz's Indy Politics website. No snarky headlines...no "cheat sheet" mentions...nothing at press time.
As for Bennett, apparently he doesn't care. He's kicking back in Florida on the beach where he's only accountable to his Governor and the people that keep him appointed. He told Tully that the Ritz Administration just doesn't seem to get the purpose behind the $1.7 million expenditure. Read Tully's excellent piece for more. In short, I guess fiscal conservatism only goes so far.
That $1.7 million could have hired a lot of teachers. Instead, Bennett was more concerned about expensive videoconferencing when, as Ritz's Administration pointed out, Skype is free.
I don't get the expenditure either, Tony. I think you wasted my tax dollars. Must have thought you were going to win reelection, too. You don't order something like that thinking you were going to lose.
Enjoy the beach.