Saturday, October 25, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Current tech renders junkets obsolete

By
From page A8 | May 31, 2014 |

Sometimes you have to wonder, do elected officials spend our tax dollars effectively?

Let’s look at a subject that we call “junkets” – trips for “education” or “making our case,” or some other reason – with the public paying the expenses.

City Council members regularly journey to nice destinations – Palm Springs and Monterey are popular – for various conferences: League of This-or-That; Association of Whatever. You get the idea.

Council members, county supervisors, or their surrogates make annual pilgrimages to Washington, D.C. to plead for money. Since these trips take months to set up, couldn’t they wait until the congressmen or senators come home on breaks? Could letters or phone calls do the job? Or could they just visit the legislator’s local office?

The Fairfield-Suisun School District spent more than $600,000 last year to send small groups of teachers and staffers to meetings all over the country. This year it’s on track to spend more than $500,000.

These travelers probably learn some useful things and probably share that with their stay-at-home peers. But isn’t there a way to gain and spread information at less cost?

The answer is, Yes.

Skype – among others – can create conferences wherever you want. PowerPoint can inform hundreds at a time. Any good information technology person can set these things up, saving most of what is now spent on travel. Everyone who might benefit from the information could get it.

Keep in mind, too, if they’re going to listen to lectures, most people can read much faster than a person speaks. Some can read hundreds of times faster. A 45-minute speech can be absorbed in five minutes. Get it in writing and you don’t even have to leave home.

Finally, if it’s essential to interact with the experts, it might cost less to have them come here and work with the local people, instead of sending a handful out of town.

We have spoken against such junkets for years. At one time – before technology presented options – those trips may have been useful. Today, what taxpayers want is a commitment to find ways to save money . . . money that can do a lot of good right here at home.

John Takeuchi is a resident of Fairfield and president of the Central Solano Citizen/Taxpayer Group. Reach him at John Takeuchi taksan@comcast.net.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 8 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • JagMay 31, 2014 - 7:30 am

    The problem is John most tax payers don’t look into things that deep and are not as informed as a very small percentage is so they just pay their taxes and go on their way, Can you imagine if we had school choice where if you wanted to send your child to a higher rated school but you had to pay a little extra? You would start asking what I am paying for. Where is this money going? How do I vote no to send 20 people on a trip? There would be so much more interest.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • S KMay 31, 2014 - 8:18 am

    I'd say start with the local elected school officials, administrators. Vote all the incumbents out that run for office.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • mike kirchubelMay 31, 2014 - 9:07 am

    I agree. Good article. Thank you.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JagMay 31, 2014 - 3:40 pm

    Wow Mike I am shocked and happily surprised at your response,, Two thumbs up

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • AlfMay 31, 2014 - 11:44 am

    Attend a conference by Skype? Influence people with a remote Powerpoint presentation? C'mon John, even you know that dog won't hunt. There is a difference between a business trip with a purpose and a junket. And while I agree with you that money is scarce and should be prudently spent, personal contact, networking and face to face meetings on important issues are still the way to get things done. Try it sometime. Pretty soon in your world, all business will take place on Facebook. Progress? Hardly.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Jason KnowlesMay 31, 2014 - 8:10 pm

    Excellent points, Alf. As a teacher, when I go to these conferences, we don't just sit there and listen. They're highly interactive, energizing, and you can network with other professionals on a personal level. John is right that the experts can travel here, but many school districts do not have the physical space to conduct a conference with a thousand or so teachers at once.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895May 31, 2014 - 10:17 pm

    I'm against junkets too.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895May 31, 2014 - 10:21 pm

    Google "lavish corporate parties" and see if any of the companies in which you have investments are listed.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
 
Fall Harvest Festival brings children back to school

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Optimist Club brings youth together for Halloween golf

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Cut-a-thon to help fight cancer, abuse

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
School board candidates forum set next week

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
Staying active may prolong your life

By Scott Anderson | From Page: B8

 
Suisun City police log: Oct. 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

.

US / World

Suspect arrested in death of 2 California deputies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

 
KC-10 from Travis lands in Houston, smoke in cockpit

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Reagan astrologer, Joan Quigley, dies at 87

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
Jury says castrated sex offender should be freed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Remains belong to missing Virginia student

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Dallas nurse receives thanks, hug from Obama

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 14 Comments

School gunman was Homecoming prince, students say

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
Lava creeps toward road on Hawaii’s Big Island

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

NY, NJ order Ebola quarantine for doctors, others

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Gunman in Canada attack complained about mosque

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Egypt declares emergency in northern Sinai

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Militant group said to be using chlorine bombs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Putin accuses US of undermining global stability

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Opinion

SEIU shouldn’t own Board of Supervisors

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 7 Comments

 
Vote, and make a difference

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

Yes on Measure A

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

 
Spering best choice for county supervisor

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8, 8 Comments

Return Garamendi to Congress

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8, 27 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoons: Oct. 25, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

.

Living

Today in History: Oct. 25, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Oct. 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Oct. 25, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
My mother-in-law wants me to convert to Catholicism, but I don’t want to

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

Hello Kitty turning 40, and the birthday bash will be ‘supercute’

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: B8

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

 
TLC cancels its ‘Honey Boo Boo’ series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9, 1 Comment

P.D. James’ riff on Jane Austen comes to TV

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

Hamilton helps Vanden sink Vallejo, 35-0

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B1

 
Vintage rolls past Armijo, 55-8

By Mike Corpos | From Page: B1

Mustangs fall flat in rout by Wildcats

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1, 4 Comments

 
Royals beat Giants 3-2 for 2-1 World Series lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Vargas to take on Vogelsong in Game 4 of Series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Falcons hang with Wolves in 34-8 setback

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Henley’s putting gets him lead at Sea Island

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Judge halts New Jersey’s sports betting plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Joe Maddon exercises opt-out, won’t return to Rays

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jamie McMurray bests Chase drivers to win pole

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Attorney: NFL, Ravens not helping union in Rice probe

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
SCC women’s soccer team falls to Mendocino 3-1

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Unfazed, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh doing it his way

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lloyd leads US women past Mexico 3-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders’ Woodley, Young expected to be placed on IR

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

US official: Auto safety agency under review

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Ford profit falls in third quarter on truck costs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Procter & Gamble taking out its batteries

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
UPS expects double-digit surge in Dec shipments

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

US new-home sales close to flat in September

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Obituaries

Mark Dean Lindsay

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
.

Comics

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
.

Home Seller 10/25/14

Real estate transactions for Oct. 25, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2