January 14, 2013
With the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission's long-held reputation as a patronage haven, it comes as little surprise that top turnpike officials enjoy liberal expense accounts. Nor that hundreds of turnpike employees are allowed to cruise the toll road for free, even on personal trips. Even so, a just-released review by state Auditor General Jack Wagner should prompt needed reforms, especially at a time when other state and local government agencies are having to trim spending. In a 93-page audit covering a nearly five-year period, Wagner blasted what he called "overly generous and permissive" perks for the turnpike's five governing commissioners.
November 22, 2012 |
The Delaware River Port Authority board today approved reform measures designed to make the agency more accountable and efficient. The latest steps, including an open-records policy and tighter rules on employee expense accounts, are part of a continuing move to make changes requested more than two years ago by the governors of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. A final flurry of changes, including an ethics policy and rules on political contributions by contractors, are expected next month to implement the rest of the governors' reforms.
November 22, 2012 |
For the second time in as many months, the Delaware River Port Authority board has approved reform measures designed to make the agency more accountable and efficient. The latest steps, including an open-records policy and tighter rules on employee expense accounts, were approved Wednesday and are part of a continuing move to make changes requested more than two years ago by the governors of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The board approved eight changes in October. A final flurry of changes, including an ethics policy and rules on political contributions by contractors, are expected next month to complete the rest of the governors' requests.
March 1, 2012
MAYBE WE shouldn't be too hard on Sheriff Jewell Williams for wanting a fancier vehicle than the 2012 SUV he inherited from outgoing Acting Sheriff Barbara Deeley. Last week, the Daily News reported that Williams had requested from the city a souped-up pursuit vehicle that costs $38,000; the city turned down this request, and a request for $3,000 worth of decals printed with his name to adorn the doors of 54 sheriff vehicles. After all, considering where former State Rep. Williams spent the last 10-plus years, he's a product of the culture of perks and entitlements for which our General Assembly sets the gold standard.
August 14, 2005
Ten years ago, a pay raise for Harrisburg lawmakers triggered a brief wave of protest, but made hardly a ripple at the polls when the next election rolled around. Might it be different this time? The public outcry over the outlandish pay hike lawmakers sneaked through in the dark of night on July 7 shows no signs of abating. Yes, the 2006 primaries are nine months away - but the taxpayer furor already has outlasted the predictions of political insiders. (You can bet the pols counted on voters having short memories.
July 8, 2005 |
Without a word of debate, in the wee hours of the morning yesterday, state legislators voted themselves a double-digit pay increase before hurriedly leaving the Capitol for their 10-week summer recess. "We deserve it," Rep. Frank Oliver (D., Phila.) said as he walked out the House chamber at 2 a.m. moments after the body voted, 119-79, for the raise. "See what time we are getting out right now. We work long hours sometimes. " Minutes later, the Senate voted, 27-23, for the bill, which would increase the pay for back-benchers by 16 percent, with leaders getting much more.
February 11, 2001 |
A consultant to Camden's troubled Parking Authority paid for a $6,000 golf trip to Arizona that he took with the authority's executive director and former Mayor Milton Milan, according to travel documents The Inquirer has obtained. In January 1999, Elvis Gooden, the authority's financial consultant; Anthony Scarduzio, the authority's executive director; and Milan spent five days and four nights at the Dobson Ranch Inn & Resort in Mesa, Ariz., golfing and riding desert bikes, travel documents show.
March 2, 1997 |
After starting her first year on the Board of Commissioners last year, Carolyn Parker said she needed to set up a home office to help her do the job. She was reimbursed by taxpayers for a fax machine, a printer, a portable phone, an answering machine, and a file cabinet, among other items, through her township expense account. Parker's was the highest total expense reimbursement last year for a commissioner in Haverford, the only municipality in Delaware County that offers such an account.
March 14, 1995 |
Board of Commissioners President Fred Moran said last night that he had asked Township Manager Tom Bannar to "draw up some new procedures" on commissioners' expenses. Moran was the only commissioner to address the questions of Ellen Fisher, who was responding to an Inquirer article Sunday that detailed how some commissioners had spent their "expense account" money the last two years on dinners, baby sitters, newsletters, and contributions to charities - often without providing receipts.
March 3, 1995 |
It was a monumental baseball event that just had to happen: the first replacement-player trade in history. And a blockbuster of a trade it was, too. The Cleveland Replacement Indians announced yesterday morning that they had traded two players to the Cincinnati Replace-Reds. In return for . . . Absolutely nobody. "Hey, sometimes those kinds of deals are good," Replace-Reds manager Davey Johnson deadpanned when asked about this stunning two-for-none swap. "They call it, 'Addition by subtraction.