LAST week's biggest trick-or-treat was played on the...

salmagundi

November 03, 1992

LAST week's biggest trick-or-treat was played on the directors of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland. They tried to give themselves a treat, then thought better of it.

As we know from recent accounts in this newspaper, the Blues' directors have lavished themselves and top executives of the health insurer with a vast array of perks, ranging from hospitality tents on Preakness day, to a posh Oriole Park sky box, to membership in the ritzy Caves Valley golf club, to tickets and expenses to visit the winter and summer Olympics.

But with all this adverse publicity, the directors have reined in their free-spending ways. No tent for the Preakness, no golf in the valley -- and no treat-or-treat party. It seems that the directors throw themselves and top executives a "thank you" party each year.

It was set for Westminster Hall, next to the grave of Edgar Allan Poe. Rental of the hall costs $750. We imagine the catering bill for the night would have come close to five figures.

Instead of this treat, though, the directors pulled a trick. The event was canceled.

Given the woeful performance of the directors and executives as outlined in Senate hearings and in Evening Sun articles, a "thank you" event would have raised an embarrassing question:

"Thank you" for what?

Besides, the last thing the Blues need now is another of its perks pilloried in the media.

So farewell to this Halloween tradition. The Blues directors will have to pat themselves on the back in a more austere -- and private -- setting.

And they ought to wait till they deserve it.

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