Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young is one of the City Council members scheduled to attend the National Association of Counties conference in March in Washington, D.C. File.
Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young is one of the City Council members scheduled to attend the National Association of Counties conference in March in Washington, D.C. File. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

The Sun’s coverage of the travel plans of City Council members to a Washington, D.C. conference reads much like you are implying malfeasance at worst and bad judgement at best (“Baltimore City Council president and vice president to spend four nights in $300 hotel rooms for Washington conference,” Jan. 23).

While it seems to be close, have you ever attended a multi-day conference that is located that far away? A 45-minute train ride is but a fraction of the travel time. More over, the networking and meeting time outside the conference agenda is equally, if not more, important than the sessions of the conference itself (as noted by City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young’s spokesman, Lester Davis). Try being on-site and “on” from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. then making a two-hour trek to your home and back. Every day for four days.

Advertisement

To get the most out of these events, you need to be sharp and have at least 4-5 hours of sleep, and having to worry about the commute is counter to that priority. The other option would be to commute to and fro and only attend the conference hours, get a full night’s sleep and still have to worry about the commute. In my view, for most conferences where networking is a major opportunity and benefit, the cost of lodging is well worth the additional investment. Otherwise, why go at all?

Before you blow the whistle on what you see as poor spending decisions, it would be good to look at a total cost-benefit analysis.

Bennett Moe, Columbia

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement