PEOPLE are disgusted with government and a recent story in the AJC points out why.
Michele Bonner, who headed up the state-owned Brasstown Valley Resort, was apparently very fond of spending taxpayer money on herself.
In addition to building a $2.6 million spa suite at the resort, a project that was $2 million over budget, Bonner ran up dinner and bar tabs at the place to over $ 14 , 7 0 0 in 118 visits she made. That included having the resort order her a special 150-year-old bottle of liqueur.
During her tenure — she was fired in March 2009 — Bonner spent nearly all of the resorts funds, much of it on the spa room (which Bonner used for herself for free 11 times the first six months it was open.) But what’s really telling about this fiasco is that the North Georgia Mountains Authority that hired Bonner, and was supposed to oversee the resort’s financial affairs, did nothing during the spending spree. Like a lot of boards and authorities, it was asleep at the wheel.
And state officials wonder why the public doesn’t trust them?
The truth is, there is almost no incentive for any department in state government to provide fiscal oversight. It’s not their money they spend, it’s taxpayer money.
One suspects that many of the state’s various boards and authorities give only lip service to their fiscal duties. If a board was doing its job, problems like this couldn’t happen.
Bonner made $133,000 a year in her job, then she used thousands of other taxpayer dollars to pamper herself at the resort she oversaw.
Where does it say in the Georgia Constitution that the state should be in the hotel,motel, resort industry?
This is a glaring example of of state pet projects that are funded with tax payer monies in DIRECT competition with private companies, Georgia should release these properties to contractors that in addition to MAKING a profit from services, make payments on facilities as well... Airports are another area that governments need to lease to private companies,