I debated about posting this since I didn’t want to make a big deal about it. But I did want to clarify a couple of things, so here goes.
The Dallas Morning News ran a story today about my decision not to use taxpayer dollars for city council-related travel. The story might have inadvertently left some with the impression that I called a press conference or sent out a press release to announce this. I didn’t. Reporter Dave Levinthal regularly reviews how much the council is spending on travel, and he asked me about my reimbursement to the city. I explained my personal decision: that I didn’t think it was right to use taxpayer money for city trips when our economy is in such bad shape and we’re going to have to cut back on city services next year to meet the city’s budget deficit.
To be clear: I wasn’t proposing a ban on other councilmembers’ travel. I was just doing what seemed right to me.
Also, the story mentions a $1300 reimbursement for a trip to San Francisco. To clarify, I was reimbursing the city for several expenses: airfare to San Francisco, airfare to San Antonio to meet with a state rep about property taxes, and a registration fee for a green cities conference in Portland (where I’ll be touring their streetcar system and bicycle infrastructure with Councilmember Koop and DART officials).