Boston trip on our dime

Posted in the Deer Park Forum

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Dp lady

Ballwin, MO

#1 May 2, 2013
Is there a need to send city employees out of state? Our citizens need to get more involved and start paying attention
Texas chic

Ballwin, MO

#2 May 2, 2013
What's in Boston?
Liars spotted

Ballwin, MO

#3 May 2, 2013
Umm Red Sox
HB Insight

Ballwin, MO

#4 May 2, 2013
When is this going to take place, who is attending and what for...
HB Insight

Ballwin, MO

#5 May 2, 2013
HB Insight wrote:
When is this going to take place, who is attending and what for...
I'm not sure, I just over heard someone talking. You can file open records
Death Star

Houston, TX

#6 May 2, 2013
There r a lot of trips that r needless and expenses that the tax payers fund. No doubt they, city officials, enjoy top class accomendations, steaks & sea food, as well as limo service etc.. Why would anyone need to go to DC?

Maybe the next Mayor will put a stop to the needless trips and wasteful spending on such. Maybe someone needs to find open records for how much these endless trips cost the citizens. I heard that spouces go on our dine as well??????? I hope Bill sees this thread, quit sure he will ask for the records once he reads my comments. Go get them Bill!
Voter

Deer Park, TX

#7 May 4, 2013
I am a tax payer and against wasteful spending (golf course) just as much as everyone else does. However I also realize that software and financial programs are constantly upgrading and people need to be educated to the changes. The city utizes a software program to run many divisions. This company as an annal meeting for training and basic training. The conference is in a different location each year. Last year it was in Texas, this year it is Boston, MA.

Only a handful of employees attend and upon their return show other employees what they have learned. If we want the city ran by educated people it requires training. If not we would all be on DOS computers still. We have to be reasonable.
Cooker

Deer Park, TX

#8 May 5, 2013
This Boston trip was a Conference for the current encode program that the city uses to collect money and information! If a city employee wanted to attend this conference they had to BUY their own plane ticket! Plus they only have them $160 for food! Whats the big deal? City employees trying to educate themselves so this city can run effectively!
Cooker

Deer Park, TX

#9 May 5, 2013
The money they didn't spend has to be turned in with receipts! Before you ask, "Cooker, how do you know this information?" I'm a city employee you jackass and I'm tired of citizens always crying and complaining!
Just saying

Houston, TX

#10 May 5, 2013
Cooker wrote:
This Boston trip was a Conference for the current encode program that the city uses to collect money and information! If a city employee wanted to attend this conference they had to BUY their own plane ticket! Plus they only have them $160 for food! Whats the big deal? City employees trying to educate themselves so this city can run effectively!
"If a city employee wanted to attend",

sounds to me that its not mandated so why should the city use taxpayers funds for such a trip? I'm sure they would have training manuals. The big deal is that its taxpayers funds and option as you call it should not be funded by taxpayers.
jim

Pasadena, TX

#11 May 5, 2013
Just saying wrote:
<quoted text>"If a city employee wanted to attend",

sounds to me that its not mandated so why should the city use taxpayers funds for such a trip? I'm sure they would have training manuals. The big deal is that its taxpayers funds and option as you call it should not be funded by taxpayers.
Training manuals for software isn't the same as attending conferences to meet with other organizations that use the same software and being able to discuss issues with it, how they do their processes and how you can make your city more efficient to better serve citizens. Based in the little bit I know cooker is correct in how the process works for a trip such as that. As far as what the conference was for I'm not sure, but if it leads to better ways to serve us taxpayers then by all means, send a couple people so they can network with others and exchange ideas.
voter

Deer Park, TX

#12 May 5, 2013
Just saying wrote:
<quoted text>
"If a city employee wanted to attend",
sounds to me that its not mandated so why should the city use taxpayers funds for such a trip? I'm sure they would have training manuals. The big deal is that its taxpayers funds and option as you call it should not be funded by taxpayers.
Sorry, but no, there are no training manuals for the incode software. Not everyone can attend these conferences. The directors are very particular about whom they send. It has to be someone that truly uses the software all the time and needs the training. We have to stay informed and educated. I can't believe people are complaining about that. Yes there can be some wasteful spending and no we don't need to attend every single conference or training session that is offered to the city however some of them are necessary.
Just saying

Houston, TX

#13 May 5, 2013
Perhaps the major complaint was directed towards the Mayor and City Council members. Like in DC travels etc. Take a look at how your money is being spent on these, mostly, needless trips. Pull open records along with the detail as to what the expense reports show. Why do spouses go too?
Cooker

United States

#14 May 6, 2013
"Just saying" your a complete jackass! If a room is already paid for and the spouse buys a plane ticket, why couldn't they go!
Just saying

Houston, TX

#15 May 6, 2013
Scenario: councilman A & B go to a convention in DC. Room rate is $400 night double occupancy, they share the room. Councilman B's wife wants to go on the trip so another room is needed, assuming they don't want a three way. Now the city has two rooms at $400 a night, not one.

Also, many hotels give a cheaper rate if only one goes/stays in a room because rates are based on double occupancy. In such a situation the city would be out more money, plus sometimes entertainment is charged for both and or taxi etc. is charged as the spouse shops or sight sees while the convention is going. Also, you have a possible case where the council person doesn't attend some or a majority of the conference so they can spend the time with their spouse.

Everyone wants to go to Boston so why not take advantage of a good situation to catch a game, same can be said about other cities, I guess, that have sports teams.
DPSURFERCHICK

Pasadena, TX

#16 May 6, 2013
Just Saying,

Would you prefer the following scenario?

Found cheaper hotel 100.00 a night less, but now must spend additional money to rent a car, the gasoline, parking at the convention center and also this cheaper hotel charges for overnight parking like most.

Rented a van so all of the city employees can share the ride daily cost with the 20percent or more tax it is about 90.00 a day. We will forget the minor detail of on official city business now the city will have to be responsible for any accidents or damage to this car. No better yet, I will put this on my personal Gold AX card receive insurance for free, just not the liability portion. Tried to save the citizens a buck so they will not gripe.

Rental car company offered the states easy tag program, so I can ride on the most direct route to the convention center. More cost effective than spending the money on additional gas. Unlike Texas the average cost of gas is almost 4.00 if not more. So I have rung up a few tolls during my stay.

Did not realize hotel like most in the area charge 25.00 a night to park, well at least it is cheaper than NYC at 75.00-100.00 a night and even some of Houston's Downtown hotel parking fees.

Convention Center parking 20.00 per day.

So do you pay 400.00 a night or take the cheaper route just to pay more in other areas of the trip.

By the way Double Occupancy means two or less to the room the rate would be the same regardless 1 or 2. To convert to the single rate it would be at the local YMCA or maybe something like the Bates Motel. Than we may have to consider safety.

hedgehog

Houston, TX

#17 May 6, 2013
DPSURFERCHICK wrote:
Just Saying,
Would you prefer the following scenario?
Found cheaper hotel 100.00 a night less, but now must spend additional money to rent a car, the gasoline, parking at the convention center and also this cheaper hotel charges for overnight parking like most.
Rented a van so all of the city employees can share the ride daily cost with the 20percent or more tax it is about 90.00 a day. We will forget the minor detail of on official city business now the city will have to be responsible for any accidents or damage to this car. No better yet, I will put this on my personal Gold AX card receive insurance for free, just not the liability portion. Tried to save the citizens a buck so they will not gripe.
Rental car company offered the states easy tag program, so I can ride on the most direct route to the convention center. More cost effective than spending the money on additional gas. Unlike Texas the average cost of gas is almost 4.00 if not more. So I have rung up a few tolls during my stay.
Did not realize hotel like most in the area charge 25.00 a night to park, well at least it is cheaper than NYC at 75.00-100.00 a night and even some of Houston's Downtown hotel parking fees.
Convention Center parking 20.00 per day.
So do you pay 400.00 a night or take the cheaper route just to pay more in other areas of the trip.
By the way Double Occupancy means two or less to the room the rate would be the same regardless 1 or 2. To convert to the single rate it would be at the local YMCA or maybe something like the Bates Motel. Than we may have to consider safety.
Maybe you should check the city records, seems like i remember seeing limo service for some, not taxi. Hotels do cut the rate, especially if they are a frequent visitor, for just one per room. If you are doing the booking they or you must not be frequent visitors. Hotels assume two will be in a room so that is why the double occupancy rate is shown. I've gone to Vegas enough to know that they cut the rate for me since I'm by myself. The city might need to get a better, more knowledgeable, person for their bookings. Of course some agents won't pass on the lower price because they keep it, a deal between the agent and hotel(s). Lots of ways to skin a cat.

“Trying to be civil with idiots”

Since: Oct 09

Sarajevo, Bosnia

#18 May 6, 2013
In the private sector we would get an instructor to come onsite and teach those that needed it. We would be out of business in no time if we had to send our employees out of state for training.

Paying travel for 1 - 2 instructors is a heck of a lot cheaper then paying travel for an entire group. Plus, you get the added benefit of one on one training.

DPSURFERCHICK

Pasadena, TX

#19 May 7, 2013
hedgehog wrote:
<quoted text>
Maybe you should check the city records, seems like i remember seeing limo service for some, not taxi. Hotels do cut the rate, especially if they are a frequent visitor, for just one per room. If you are doing the booking they or you must not be frequent visitors. Hotels assume two will be in a room so that is why the double occupancy rate is shown. I've gone to Vegas enough to know that they cut the rate for me since I'm by myself. The city might need to get a better, more knowledgeable, person for their bookings. Of course some agents won't pass on the lower price because they keep it, a deal between the agent and hotel(s). Lots of ways to skin a cat.
Yes and No to your statements. Vegas? Do you gamble? If so than with your loyalty card you should be receiving free rooms mid week and discounted rates for weekend stay.
Now would the city qualify for such loyalty rates, most likely not, since their travel is some what limited.
Most agents charge a fee for booking an airline ticket and or hotels. A good one, will find the lowest possible rate available. The so called kick backs vendor-agent are dust in the wind for airlines and some discounted hotel rates. The fee is justified, just as yourself you do not work for free.
Voter

Deer Park, TX

#20 May 7, 2013
Want my town back wrote:
In the private sector we would get an instructor to come onsite and teach those that needed it. We would be out of business in no time if we had to send our employees out of state for training.
Paying travel for 1 - 2 instructors is a heck of a lot cheaper then paying travel for an entire group. Plus, you get the added benefit of one on one training.
In order to cut cost, when ever it is possible, the city participates in webinars, teleconferences and yes, having an instructor come onsite. However, that can not always be possible.

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