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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

We're watching you!

I know there have to be government policies, and I know those policies have to be followed. Those of us who write about accountability for public funds even insist on it. Still, the bean-counting bureaucrats should use a little common sense. If I understand this story correctly, this is what happened:

1. County employee attends a conference in Chicago. Instead of paying $40 a day for parking , she has her husband drop her off and pick her up.

2. She asks the county to reimburse her husband for that driving. The county agrees, though its policy says only employees may be reimbursed because, hey, avoiding the parking saved the county money.

3. The State Board of Accounts says, "Bad, bad county" for not following your travel policy and cites the county commissioners, as a result of which some agencies may be dissuaded "from giving the county money in the future."

So now the county is considering a new policy:

KD Benson, commissioner president, said the new policy requires county employees to obtain the permission of the commissioners before they may diverge from the travel policy in certain ways. For instance, the commissioners must approve their taking family with them on a trip or their taking a trip outside of Indiana.

Dot those i's and cross those t's!