Monday, April 21, 2014

Texans Needing Protection in Australia

Australia was in our local news today. I don't think I've ever seen that happen.

It turns out our Mayor (Betsy Price) spent over $10,000 of our tax money to take two police officers along with her on her Australia trip.  She says she needed them for security.

In comments, nitenurse22 says,  Why does Betsy Price need security detail? Outside of Texas or even North Texas who even knows her? Wow that's a big waste of money.

It might be bad to admit this...but I live in Fort Worth, and wouldn't know her if I ran into her at the grocery store. 

The Fort Worth Police Association is unhappy with the whole situation. The former president of the organization gives insight into the police officers duties. According to him, the officers carry her bag, fetch medication for her, take photos, etc.  It seems she's using tax payer money to hire the police to be her personal assistants.  

Yikes.

There's a part of me that's thinking it's not unusual for public officials to take a small entourage on their travels.  I'm trying to figure out how I'd feel if the mayor brought along one personal assistant and called it what it was.  It would be a cost saver if she could simply handle things on her own.  But maybe people in that position lose touch and forget how go about their life without someone giving them assistance.

I don't know. Maybe we need a more self-reliant mayor. You know what I keep thinking though. I keep imagining her going to Australia alone and feeling lonely. That gives me some sympathy.  Should our tax money remedy that?  Probably not. I guess it depends on whether or not the trip to Australia is very necessary.  If it's a case of...The Fort Worth Mayor MUST visit Australia (having a hard time imagining a situation in which this might be true), then I think taxpayers can pay, and maybe it's okay that we also pay for one assistant to keep her company and carry her heavy bags.  If the trip isn't very necessary, than I think the mayor can skip it if she can't deal with traveling around Australia on her own.

According to the article, Betsy Price went to Australia to wave the Fort Worth flag and raise awareness about our airport.

Yes, it's very important Australians to know about our airport.

Price is also going to attend some kind of energy conference in Perth. According to her, Australians are very eager to hear about energy projects being worked on by Fort Worthians.

What are these Fort Worthians working on?

I have no idea.

I'm wondering if it's environmentally friendly stuff.  Or not. I don't picture Fort Worth as being a pioneer in green technologies. But I might be speaking out of ignorance here.

I just went and read the mayor's website.  She has a page about our trip to Australia. It sounds like the basic purpose of her trip was to advertise Fort Worth to Australians.  It seems we're seeking Aussie tourists and Aussie investors. That's cool. I guess it's like Australia and Qantas paying a huge amount of money to bring in Oprah, the cast of Modern Family, etc.

I'm totally in support of these goals. It's nice when Australians and Americans visit each other. I'm just not sure if I agree that the methods used are the best.  I would imagine there's a more cost-effective way to promote ourselves to each other.

As for the energy thing, on Betsy Price's site, she specifies what type of energy. It's petroleum related...oil and gas. From what I know (or think I know) that's not very environmentally friendly. I'm sure it has it's place in the world, and it makes sense about the Texas thing. Texas has a big association with oil.  I guess I just kind of hoped Fort Worth science folks might be inventing some kind of exciting alternative green energy.