Friday, July 24, 2009

Fat salaries and irresponsible spending

Pasting below an article from SFGate on irresponsible BART management spending. This is absolutely irresponsible. Time for us BART passengers to consider carpool or AC Transit.

Source: SFGate, KTVU, Aileen Yoo

Over the past several weeks, amid BART contract negotiations and fears of a strike, much of the attention has focused on union salaries. Now, KTVU turns the spotlight on BART management in a report that not only examines costs for meals and traveling, but also reveals a method of record-keeping from the Dark Ages. Receipts for transit agency travel and dining expenses are apparently kept in cardboard boxes and stored at a warehouse. KTVU sorted through thousands of receipts, arranged them onto a spreadsheet and found that between Jan. 1, 2000 and December 31, 2008, taxpayer and rider dollars funded pricey restaurants, trips in the U.S. and around the world, and even rooms at Bay Area hotels. Over that nine-year period, management spent a total of $35,000 on dining and more than $2 mil on travel, according to records.

KTVU also highlighted the following costs:

*Meal for 10 managers at one of the most expensive steakhouses: $2,700

* Room at the San Francisco Westin "for staff to change into outfits for [the Gay Pride] parade" last year: $295.43

*Water at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco: $81

What that Gay Pride garb was exactly and how these costs stack up against other organizations, the report doesn't say. But you can check out PDFs of spreadsheets that list expenses by travel destinations, the biggest spenders and other categories.

Meanwhile, the agency says it's "bleeding money" and projects a $310 mil deficit over the next four years. As for the labor dispute, BART's three largest unions recently rejected an offer. They and BART have until July 30 to reach an agreement.


Anonymous said...

Drop in the bucket, ktvu spent 6 months on that? They need to look where the 10's of millions went/go. Over a shorter span of time.

Grain of sand on the beach.

Anonymous said...

why are administrators, from BART, Sacramento, to Congress, so afraid of admitting that they've miscalculated, mispent and made mistakes.

Anonymous said...

May be it is a drop in the bucket but the irresponsible management and spending of tax payers' money is a BIG deal. The question is: can you still trust these people to run BART? With the unions expecting handouts again and again the tax payers are the ones who are being bled to death slowly, drop by drop..........

dndgirl said...

We, the riders, are so screwed.

Anonymous said...

How about:

$23,487.77 spent at local Apple stores or Apple online stores (the District’s computer system is not compatible with Macs)

Or what is up with:

$554.48 on eyeQ speed reading software.

and lets not forget:

Over $15,000 in office furniture purchases from:
Kantor’s Furniture
Interior Motions

It took them 6 months for that! Hell, I could have done better!

you can read the credit card bills at:

Unknown said...

Looking for job, working on business management degree. Halfway done.
I will work for 2/3's pay.