Cumberland Times-News

Local News

February 23, 2013

Senators question Md. comptroller’s travel expenses

Franchot hits road to hand out awards

ANNAPOLIS — Two state senators are questioning travel expenses incurred by Comptroller Peter Franchot to distribute four kinds of awards at ceremonies around the state. The comptroller responded Friday that he believes the motivation for their inquiries is political rather than fiscal stewardship.

Sen. Nancy King, D-Montgomery, and David Brinkley, R-Frederick, wrote the comptroller Wednesday, expressing increasing concern about a variety of awards created by his office which are “completely unrelated to your role as our chief tax collector.” They wrote the awards appear to have been created since Jan. 1, 2010.

“We see no reason why any of your state duties or responsibilities justifies the taxpayer financed expense of paying for a driver, security, gas, car mileage, or the manufacture and purchase of questionably invented awards,” the senators wrote, asking for a copy of his travel schedule and costs related to the awards.

The senators noted the citizens undoubtedly do great things, but that they accept the awards believing they have been given something endorsed broadly by the state “when it is in reality only something solely manufactured and endorsed by you.”

They added: “To spend state dollars engaging in these kinds of activities gravely troubles us.”

Franchot, a Democrat, re-sponded in a three-page letter, noting that he is a statewide constitutional officer. He also wrote he believes the authority of the office comes with the right and responsibility to visit communities across the state. Franchot noted he believes it’s important to be able to sit down with working taxpayers and have honest conversations about the opportunities and challenges facing the economy.

The comptroller said the awards recognize people who have saved taxpayer dollars, generated much-needed tax revenue or improved quality of life in their communities.

Franchot wrote that the insinuation he can carry out his responsibilities only from Annapolis in hallways, backrooms and at evening receptions “personifies the sense of disconnected arrogance that has alienated far too many people from government.”

The comptroller noted the costs of the awards amounted to just more than $5,000, a fraction of what it costs Maryland taxpayers to house a lawmaker in Annapolis for the 90-day session, at the current daily rates of $101 for lodging, $42 for meals and 57 cents per mile of authorized travel.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Easter experience Easter experience

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Game on: City interested in baseball study

    After it looked like the objection of a couple of constituents to a study on the feasibility of bringing a minor league baseball team to the area may have torpedoed the thought, county commissioners and some city officials sounded ready to sing a chorus of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” on Thursday.

    April 18, 2014

  • DEREK SHEELY Charges against helmet maker stand in case of Frostburg player’s death

    A Montgomery County judge this week declined to dismiss charges against a helmet manufacturer in a case brought by the parents of a Frostburg State University football player who died of head injuries in August 2011 following four straight days of heavy contact drills in practice.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • GAYLE MANCHIN W.Va. BOE president speaks on issues at WVSDB

    West Virginia Board of Education President Gayle Manchin responded to issues at the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind during an interview with the Times-News Wednesday morning.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • REGINALD REDMAN Moorefield man jailed on felony drug count

    A Moorefield man was arrested on various charges Thursday, including a felony drug offense for possession of amphetamines, according to the Keyser Police Department.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blossoming optimism Blossoming optimism

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds

    After you drive Alexander and Furnace streets then navigate a couple of switchbacks on Cemetery Road, you’d figure there would be no more uphill.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Proposed county budget holds most agencies flat

    After taking into account an income tax shortfall, Allegany County Finance Director Jason Bennett said he’ll propose a budget that holds most outside agencies to flat funding and funds the Board of Education at what county officials say are maintenence of effort levels for 2015.

    April 17, 2014

  • RYAN WOLF Wolf named 2014-15 Garrett Teacher of the Year

    Southern Garrett High School teacher Ryan Wolf has been named the 2014-15 Garrett County Teacher of the Year.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock

    While giving a civics lesson at Frostburg State University on Thursday, U.S. Rep. John Delaney, congressman from Maryland’s sixth district, told students that the polarization in Congress is due primarily to redistricting and a poorly designed Congressional schedule.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Facebook
Must Read
News related video
Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military