Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke is planning to go to Istanbul, Turkey, next month as part of a high-level U.S. delegation to an international conference on urban problems -- at a cost to city taxpayers of more than $2,000.
Schmoke will be part of a group of local and federal officials, led by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry G. Cisneros, attending a United Nations conference called "Habitat II: The City Summit."
The mayor was asked by the White House two weeks ago to be among those representing the United States at the conference, which begins June 3, mayoral aide Lee Tawney said.
Schmoke considers the trip a "justifiable government expense," Tawney said. "When the president asks you to do something, you'd like to be able to respond."
Schmoke, who was in New York yesterday, will attend the first part of the Istanbul conference and return to Baltimore on June 7, Tawney said. The conference runs through June 14.
The trip comes as the City Council will be making final decisions on Schmoke's $2.3 billion budget, which includes three proposals to raise taxes to cover a $4.9 million shortfall.
Schmoke's trip will cost about $2,000 for airfare and an undeterminedamount for lodging, Tawney said.
A State Department official said it was common practice for participants who do not work for federal agencies to pay their way to such conferences.
"The U.S. government pays for federal officials" and occasionally a few others, said the official, who asked not to be identified.
Habitat II, which comes 20 years after the first U.N.-sponsored housing conference, is the last in a series of forums addressing global issues ranging from population to women's rights.
"Habitat II will provide an opportunity for nations to share experiences and learn of promising approaches to urbanization and housing challenges," according to a State Department description of the conference.
Pub Date: 5/22/96