Not so our government employees. Only the best is to be afforded them.
A conference is to take place in Honolulu so that county administrators can learn how to better maintain their records and to obtain instruction on which forms to use for federal handouts. Like they couldn't pick this information up from the internet or by email.
National county gathering in Hawaii under scrutiny
By ALEXANDRE DA SILVA, Associated Press Writer
HONOLULU (AP) -- County officials in some states have backed out of attending a five-day national conference next month in Hawaii, saying they would feel guilty spending taxpayers' money on expensive airfares and beachside hotels in the islands during tight budget times.
The Hawaii Convention Center is booked to hold the annual meeting of the National Association of Counties.
Airfares from East Coast counties to Hawaii cost anywhere from $600 to $1,600. Room rates at the five Waikiki hotels listed for convention attendees range from $179 to $295 per night. (link)
The most exasperating aspect to this story is that it pops up every year. In 2004, as I recall, a number of county administrators here in Southwest Virginia migrated to The Greenbrier over in White Sulfur Springs for a similar party, er ... meeting. I guess they either didn't learn anything at that conference or our county administrators simply see these extravagant junkets as being of a particular value that is beyond your ability to comprehend. Or they needed to work, once again, on that backswing.
They know you don't like it but they don't care.
Skepticism about business trips to coveted travel destinations is common, said Jeremy Ratner, spokesman for the National Association of Counties in Washington, D.C.Grueling.
Convention organizers - mindful of the perception that county officials are traveling to a place known for its sand and surf - have armed participants with an unprecedented list of "helpful reminders" they can use to counter negative publicity about the trip.
One of the tips advises participants to bring materials from the meeting back to their home states to prove the trip was worthwhile.
"This isn't just a Hawaii thing," said Ratner, referring to other convention cities, especially Las Vegas, that are also well-known tourist meccas that generate criticism. "Obviously, Hawaii is a beautiful place and there's somewhat of a perception that Hawaii is a place where people go for vacation rather than a conference ... But our days are nine to five out there."
Expect this same bunch to book an Alaska cruise for next year's meeting. And for your county administrators - with enthusiastic support from your local newspaper - to plead poverty and demand an increase in taxes in order to stave off bankruptcy and a government shutdown and social upheavel and ...