Playing loose with city credit cards

September 01, 2012

Regarding your story on questionable credit card expenses by Baltimore City school administrators, the various explanations offered by school officials are unconvincing despite their incredible rhetoric ("City school officials play loose with credit," Aug. 26).

A prime example is the description of a $13,000 catering bill for a central office meeting as "fellowshipping around food that has existed in city schools for decades."

First, saying something has been done for decades doesn't mean it is right. I worked for many years for the federal government and my colleagues and I also shared meals together on and off the premises. But we paid for the food with our own funds.

The $300- to $400-per-night hotels used by school officials and board members indicates a blatant disregard for taxpayers' money. Most taxpayers can and do find hotels in the $75 to $125 range for their personal use.

The $1,000 dinner meeting where city schools CEO Andres Alonso and school board members discussed his contract extension could easily have been held in an office. Since the meeting consisted of probably 10 people, that $100-per-person average is truly eating "high off the hog."

Finally, although $66.77 is a very small amount of money, it was absurd to charge something bought on Valentine's Day at Victoria's Secret to a school credit card.

Kurt G. Wenzing Jr.

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