Deranged Mind

October 26, 2009

The Health Care Debacle

Filed under: News,Politics — The Deranged One @ 11:04 pm

I’ve been utterly disgusted by the back and forth over the health care debate. But this sums it up quite nicely:

Let me get this straight. Obama’s health care plan will be written by a committee whose head says he doesn’t understand it, passed by a Congress that hasn’t read it, signed by a president who smokes, funded by a treasury chief who did not pay his taxes, overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that is trillions of dollars in debt. What possibly could go wrong?

Reid says ‘public option’ will be in Senate health bill

October 4, 2009

Kim-Shree Maufas and the School District Credit Card

Filed under: California,News — The Deranged One @ 5:15 pm

On occasion, I like to peruse the San Francisco Chronicle. Being based in San Francisco, it has some of the most entertaining and ludicrous stories. Would you expect any different from a place like San Francisco?

Today’s edition was no exception. The headline story was that Kim-Shree Maufas, the President of the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education has a bit of a spending problem. She used her district issued Diners Club credit card for the following:

Board President Kim-Shree Maufas charged $4,300 on the district’s Diners Club card for a wide range of personal purchases. They included more than $2,000 for a cultural exchange trip to China, $196 for tickets to the Florida Epcot theme park, $40 for black Crocs, a $125 car battery and a $162 car windshield, $160 in U.S. passport processing fees, a $37 medical visit in Los Angeles and $3 for Apple iTunes.

In addition, Maufas charged $3,000 on the district’s Diner’s Club for food and beverages to conduct meetings across San Francisco, although the people whom she met and specific district purposes typically were not divulged. The records showed that she was often a big tipper with taxpayer funds. In more than 40 instances, a taxi or restaurant tip exceeded 20 percent of the final bill.

Expenses paid by the district included workday meetings at a Starbucks near her place of employment, charges that at times included only a single beverage and a single pastry or sandwich. Receipts submitted to the district rarely explained the purpose of the meetings or who was present.

Records show Maufas frequently met at Starbucks, with more than $300 spent at the chain for business purposes. Receipts show many of the meetings were conducted at the Divisadero Street Starbucks near UCSF, where she worked at the time. Times of the meetings ranged from early morning to midafternoon and those she met with typically were not identified.

She has since repaid the district (well she didn’t repay the interest) for the charges and in an interview, “There definitely was a misunderstanding about how we use our credit card, but we have had training on that,” she said. “You can rest assured that won’t happen again.”

You needed to be trained on how to use the card for district expenses? What misunderstanding was there? It’s called embezzlement. But when the heat was turned up by the reporter who wanted to continue the interview, she said she wouldn’t be available for several more months. Wow, must be really busy slashing budgets since the district is losing $51 million over the next two years.

I’m not at all surprised by this. What I found funny was Kim-Shree’s campaign website specifically her “platform.”

3. Responsible Budgeting:
Establish an open budget process that ensures resources meant for the
schools actually reach the classroom.

* Independent Audit of District finances (bi-annually).
* Ensuring that money reaches the classroom.
* Equity for schools with greatest needs.
* Increase fundraising efforts and district support for schools fundraising efforts.
* Advocating for a funding stream for our schools that partners with our citizenry
and electorate along with encouraging philanthropic support.
* Pursing state and federal monies are students are entitled to.
* Sunshine and accurate accounting.
* No more unchecked expense accounts for administration or board members.
* Comply with the law and reduce lawsuits litigation against the district for not
complying with special education requirements.

I wonder why her platform doesn’t apply to her. And I wonder how long that webpage will exist before it vanishes.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a huge amount of money and Kim-Shree has repaid it (well, not the interest.) But it’s wrong to use an employer’s credit card to purchase niceties such as $300 at Starbucks,┬áiTunes and Epcot tickets especially when it’s at taxpayer expense. Thankfully, my children don’t attend the San Francisco Unified School District. However, in our district, they’re hitting me up for pencils, crayons, paper, etc. I imagine the SF schools are doing the same. Yet here is the board president wearing out her credit card to buy coffee. If it were the private sector, she would’ve been fired faster than she knew what hit her. Based on her arrogance and hypocrisy, she needs to do the right thing and resign immediately.

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