The Baltimore City school administrators who never raised a cent on their own and could never claim "I built that" even if it came to a teachers' lounge, recently wasted over $500,000 in public funds (that's taxpayer money) on expensive local hotel suites, lavish dinners and even wings at Hooters for students "because that was what they wanted," and The Sun was so outraged by their indefensible waste of taxpayer money that it was called a "distraction" in an editorial.
Of course, that was more than Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Gov. Martin O'Malley and the school board leaders called it. If one sifted through the lame excuses offered by CEO Andrés Alonso and his merry men for their partying on the taxpayers' dime, they came down to a combination of "it was business as usual" or that "some" of the wasteful spending was "justified" and/or we are sorry we got caught.
In the first special session held earlier this year, Mr. O'Malley rammed through a tax increase on hard working Maryland taxpayers because the General Assembly failed to pass a budget in its regular session. Then a second special session was called primarily to authorize a sixth casino at National Harbor in Prince George's County because Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller wanted it. During that session, the governor and the legislative leaders beat back an amendment to rescind the tax raise, presumably to allow enough money for the city school administrators to waste next year, too. After all, a slap on the wrist is meaningless when one is eating chicken wings while ogling comely waitresses at Hooters and calling it a teaching experience to their young charges seated on the next stool.
Maryland voters can vote for Question 7 and continue to allow the tail to wag the dog or vote against it and send a real message of outrage to the leaders in Annapolis, City Hall, the school board and especially city schools administrators.
Joseph Johnson, Towson