A #036;1,200 sink? It’s an easy shot for critics

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 21, 2001

The timing couldn’t be worse. As the Alabama Legislature worked through a special session designed to raise $160 million to fund public education, the state was spending $1,200 to install a sink for making coffee in a closet at the Capitol.

And, of course, government critics were quick to point out the irony of the expenditure in a state strapped for money.

It’s an easy shot to take in this highly charged political climate.

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It’s likely that anyone with a critical eye could find thousands of dollars worth of questionable expenditures in our state government each year.

And, while stopping all those tiny revenue leaks won’t compensate for the $160 million shortfall in state revenues, they could make a significant impact in the voters’ perceptions of our state government’s efficiency.

By tightening its own belt, by seeking out those excesses and expenditures that are less than necessary, the state (through its officials) would be making a good faith effort to be a part of the solution ­ to share the burden and the responsibility for resolving the problems.

The governor and state lawmakers are urging the educational leaders to operate more efficiently and more accountability. We should expect no less from the governor, the lawmakers and their staffs.

As for the $1,200 sink …

We wonder how many textbooks that $1,200 could buy.  

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