Lack of travel policy latest example of city, county government blunders

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To the editor:

Just when I thought nothing would surprise me when it comes to the ineptness of our city and county officials, especially after the blatant misuse of credit cards, I now read city government no written policy for travel.
I find this very hard to believe, but yet just like the county judge-executive acknowledging the purchase of several cases of soda pop in one month with a county credit card, the city admits there is no written travel policy. Really? When reporting the use of taxpayer dollars, the buddy system is how it’s done? Wow!
I’m not questioning the characters of our local government officials, but I have doubts on their leadership capabilitites.
City Clerk Robbie Hume is the regional Bluegrass representative for Kentucky Municipal Clerks Association. I wonder if the subject of protocol on travel expenditures is ever discussed in their meetings during the year, but by Hume’s quotes, it doesn’t look like it.  Networking meetings and legislative update meetings at these KMCA conferences during the year provide little benefit to the citizens of Anderson County.
I open The Anderson News each Wednesday evening to read about our officials and how they have failed once again to understand how an office funded by taxpayer dollars should properly function and operate. Is anyone else getting tired of this?
A travel policy can be written on a half sheet of paper. But I find amusing every time it’s brought to government officials attention that their not doing something the proper way, they always say, “Well, we’ll see what the state’s policy is and copy that.”
OK, if you are aware that the state has a policy on travel, then why did it never dawn on local officials that they should have one, too?
By the way, it doesn’t make me feel comfortable if the one who reviews and approves travel expenditures also does his own. Proper checks and balances need to be in place to ensure everything is done properly and in accordance to any policy or law.
It’s that simple.
This lack of standardization makes me also wonder what other common written policies our officials don’t have in place. Like the proper use of a county/city owned vehicles, cell phones, office phones and reimbursement procedures, computer usage and time sheets — does anyone really look at them?
 To ensure policies, proper reporting practices are done and work-ethic standards are followed by all, make an employee handbook. Have it be a three-ring binder to make it simpler to add or amend items. Then have the heads of each division verbally go over every page with their staff.  Then give every employee the handbook.  This covers the bases.
An employee has been verbally told, and has it in writing.
Now it’s an absolute waste of time if there are no serious repercussions when an employee fails to abide by the handbook. It’s that simple.
Richard Cobb