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Letter To The Editor: County Credit Card Abuse

Our Madera County Board of Supervisors and CAO clearly need help and guidance from the community. This need is affirmed by the CAO’s justification of excessive spending of tax dollars on food and beverage for himself and other employees.

His justification was in response to an investigation by the Grand Jury on abuse of County credit cards by employees, the County’s failure to provide records that the Grand Jury requested, an unaccounted $30,000 and excessive spending on food and beverage and meetings. To see the Grand Jury’s full report, google: Madera County CAL-Card Program 2016-2017 Madera County Grand …madera-county.com/…/county…/814-reports?…madera-county-grand-jury…report…

The CAO’s justification is that he believes “an offsite working lunch” for employees” paid for with tax payer money, results in a savings for the County.

Our community is populated with many highly skilled, experienced, knowledgeable, retired and active CEO’s, and CAO’s both from the government and private sectors. I would urge these citizens to contact the Board of Supervisors and the CAO and give them the needed guidance and direction on employee behaviorism. It has been proven that both exempt and nonexempt employees working through lunch will need a mental break. They will also need down time to travel to and from an offsite meeting place, so even if they are meeting without pay, while eating on the tax payer dollar, the County will still pay for down time while they drive to and from an offsite location and for time spent for a mental break. Additionally, let’s hope this is not happening with non-exempt employees.

You can also advise the BOS and staff on how to set up a proper accounting system to prevent credit card abuse which results in abuse of tax payer dollars. Perhaps the individual responsible for monitoring the spending but failing to do so can reimburse us for the loss or perhaps the ultimate responsibility falls on the Board of Supervisors.

A sensible, reliable, meal monitoring program with consequences for going over a limit, can save tax payer dollars that can be used for fire safety instead.

Terre Sparkman

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