Connect Transit Travels!

By:  Diane Benjamin

I filed a FOIA request for details from Connect Transit – Travel & Meetings:  $10,272.18.  Original story here:  https://blnnews.com/2017/10/23/connect-transit-september-fleece/

I received 106 pages:  Travel and Meetings

Everyone that traveled must not have their own credit card, so the statements are a maze of charges on one card for someone without one.  The statements also contain double billings for housing in Atlanta where charges are later credited.  The items below do not equal $10,272.18, but exact matching of expenses isn’t necessary to show you where most of the money was spent.

The first thing I noticed was this:

The previous month’s bill must not have paid on time resulting in a finance charge.

Five people went to a conference and expo in Atlanta Ga.

It cost $850 each just to attend.  $4,250.00

The Conference didn’t happen until October, so more charges will be coming.  This is the conference website:  http://www.apta.com/mc/annual/Pages/default.aspx

Receipts show the following charges in addition to the $4,250 above

Mike McCurdy (Julie Beer’s card)  Flight:  $330.40  Housing:  255.17

Dave White  Flight:  379.59  Housing:  255.17

Pat Kuebrich  Flight:  275.35  Housing:  251.66

Martin Glaze  Flight:  275.35  Housing:  255.17

Isaac Thorne  Flight:  280.40  Housing:  255.17

That’s another $2,813.43.  I have no idea why the prices vary.

Cassandra Mosier spent September 18-22nd in Dallas Texas.  Airfare there was $306.40, with $21.88 for travel insurance.  She stayed at an Air BNB for 440.00.  The trip was 4 nights, the purpose wasn’t included.

In September they paid $450.00 to the McLean County Chamber of Commerce for Isaac Thorne to go on the trip to Arkansas to explore a local sports complex.

Ten people signed up to attend the IPTA Fall Conference in Springfield:  $1,470.00

There are a number of charges for food, no reason given except Dairy Queen was employee appreciation.

Jimmy Johns:  141.79

Walmart:  36.32 (pop and chips)

Jason’s Deli:  75.68

Dairy Queen:  $188.44

ISU got $125 for a tent and table at something called ISU Fest.

4 three-ring binders were purchased for $171.86.

$100 charge from BasicOnLine.com labeled “Fee for Section 125 Premium Only Plan”.  This is an HR company, but no other information is included.

$135.25 mileage to Springfield and back + Uber charges.  No explanation of why the car driven to Springfield wasn’t used instead of Uber.

Receipts are included this month from San Francisco for food:  30.51, 6.55, 54.19 (Receipts says 1 person-page 55 )  I believe travel expenses were included last month.

$95 for membership in the Bloomington-Normal Human Resources Council

October ADA Training event in Kansas City $325

If you are a new reader:

The conference in Atlanta was held in San Francisco last year:    https://blnnews.com/2016/11/14/connect-transit-spending-theft/

Last year 5 employees ate at the Crab House for $474.

Expenses for the Atlanta trip will most likely appear next month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Is there a policy stating the alcoholic drinks will not be reimbursed? Just curious.

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  2. OH MY GOD?!? Are you telling me they spent money on office supplies (3 ring binders)? Where will the madness end? WHERE? And training to better serve disabled people? Come on! “Those people” don’t need anymore help!!

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    • Board members need to attend training? I think workers or supervisors would be better served to attend training. If Connect Transit were better managed, there would be less of an issue. These Board members are appointed not elected. They are accountable to no one. The local, State and Federal government provides them with millions of dollars with no oversight.

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    • 4 3 ring binders for $171.00 doesn’t bother you?

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      • Dawson Lake says:

        One-yes it does bother me. Two-could it be that those “binders: where actually binders for the meeting and were priced at 57.00 each, and were full of info and meeting materials? Three-Did I misunderstand or didn’t read it correctly?

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      • Nope. Not until I see the binders. Maybe they’re really big. Designed to hold special documents. Who knows?

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      • sticky bean says:

        Perhaps each binder had a hundred dollar bill in it with a wink and a nod explaining how to make that next vote or decision.

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    • Rich I know who the Board members are. Maybe I’m more informed than you.

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  3. Maybe…but Sticky Bean (eww) is alleging corruption. THAT would be news no one reports. Get on it! Want to see that!!

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  4. garibaldi says:

    Every expense I made without a receipt was returned to me. I guess they are different.

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  5. SOME people like REAL fancy binders, Walmart “Back to school” ones are for the peasants – yes that much for binders DOES bother me. Also, if you are a full adult, and think you are “smart” enough to run for something, even city wide, you shouldn’t have to be “trained” as to how to serve disabled people (as a for instance) – the information is out there, for free even – these conferences are usually a total joke – yes I have been to similar things – they usually present NOTHING new – unless maybe you are like 18 and have no life experience or education to speak of and are not able to read or use the internet. – They are fun little get togethers held somewhere besides home so you get to travel and stay in nice hotels on someone else’s dime, oh you have to attend some generally boring “seminars” presented by real perky or “important acting” people and do some group stuff” but they feed you, so it’s not too horrible. – Truth of the matter – there is a TON of wasted money shown here.

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