Between 2015 and 2017, Jefferson Parish school board member Marion Bonura spent more than $22,000 traveling around the nation, purportedly on school district business, according to a recent news story from the New Orleans Advocate.
Then in May, when the full board voted to limit member travel expenses to $3,000 per year, Bonura cast the only “no” vote and reportedly took it all very personally.
“I feel like I am being attacked,” Bonura was quoted as saying by the Observer.
In fact, wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars was being attacked, and it’s been pretty common on the Jefferson Parish board in recent years. Bonura was not even the biggest spender.
Two school board members, Cedric Floyd and Ricky Johnson, both spend more than $35,000 on travel between 2015 and 2017, the Observer reported. Melinda Doucet spent more than $16,000 in the same time period.
All of that prompted board member Sandy Denapolis-Bosarge to push for the travel spending limit. She noted that the board has been considering asking voters to approve more school taxes, and unnecessary travel spending is not a great way to convince them schools needs more money.
“How can we afford to ask the public for increased consideration of a new property tax if we can’t show restraint?” she asked. “Until we get our financial house in order, I don’t think we need to be traveling all over the country.”