Tuesday, November 9 2010 7:11 PM EST2010-11-10 00:11:11 GMT
Water officials have scolded Las Vegas area residents to cut back on water consumption. And even though the public has conserved water, the rates keep going up. But as the public has made sacrifices, the agencies often have not. Case in point: their travel budgets.More>>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 1:52 AM EDT2013-05-22 05:52:40 GMT
LAS VEGAS - The Clark County School Board appoints Pat Skorkowsky as the next superintendent of the school district. The board is in contract negotiations with Skorkowsky, but the details of the contractMore>>
The Clark County School Board appoints Pat Skorkowsky as the next superintendent of the school district.More>>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 1:27 AM EDT2013-05-22 05:27:18 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Metro Police are on scene of a shooting on the 1700 block of Karen Avenue at the Sonoma Shadows Apartments with an FBI agent being shot. This started off as an FBI Task Force InvestigationMore>>
Metro Police are on scene of a shooting on the 1700 block of Karen Avenue at the Sonoma Shadows Apartments with an FBI agent being shot.More>>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 8:00 PM EDT2013-05-22 00:00:18 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Clark County students experience some the largest classes in the country. And while that overcrowding is expected to decrease by one or two students, the vast majority of kids won't see anyMore>>
Clark County students experience some the largest classes in the country. Although the overcrowding is expected to decrease by one or two students next year, the vast majority of kids won't see any significant change.More>>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 8:05 PM EDT2013-05-22 00:05:29 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Metro Police are investigating a crash involving a teenager who was hit by a vehicle. According to police, the victim was walking on a sidewalk at about 2:50 p.m. Tuesday near Tropicana AvenueMore>>
Metro Police are investigating an incident where a teenager was clipped by a truck's side mirror.More>>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 8:04 PM EDT2013-05-22 00:04:36 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Metro Police are investigating the discovery of a deceased person in a home in northwest Las Vegas. According to Metro, a person arrived at the home in the 8000 block of Green Pasture AvenueMore>>
Metro Police are investigating the discovery of a deceased person in a home in northwest Las Vegas.More>>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 7:55 PM EDT2013-05-21 23:55:25 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- The ratio of students to teachers in the Clark County School District from first through fifth grade and the ratio of students to classes in kindergarten gradually improved toward the endMore>>
The ratio of students to teachers in the Clark County School District from first through fifth grade and the ratio of students to classes in kindergarten gradually improved toward the end of the last decade but worsened after the 2009-2010 school year.More>>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:45 PM EDT2013-05-21 22:45:27 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- The deadly tornado in Oklahoma is bringing back some bad memories for one woman who now calls Las Vegas her home. Stephanie McGregor is originally from Moore, Oklahoma and lived there whenMore>>
The deadly tornado in Oklahoma is bringing back some bad memories for one woman now living in Las Vegas.More>>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:04 PM EDT2013-05-21 22:04:40 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Las Vegas Urology agreed to pay the Justice Department $1 million to resolve civil allegations that it improperly billed Medicare, TRICARE, and other federal health care insurance programs,More>>
Las Vegas Urology agreed to pay the Justice Department $1 million to resolve civil allegations that it improperly billed Medicare, TRICARE, and other federal health care insurance programs, Nevada's U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden said Tuesday.More>>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 5:30 PM EDT2013-05-21 21:30:00 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- After his 15-year-old son was killed during a robbery last week, Ivan Arenas said he is trying to live the life his son would have wanted. According to police, Marcos Arenas, 15, was killedMore>>
After his 15-year-old son was killed during a robbery last week, Ivan Arenas said he is trying to live the life his son would have wanted.More>>
LAS VEGAS -- First it was public salaries, and now the I-Team examines expense reports. We examined three years of the Clark County School District's travel records, focusing on the district's senior staff, the superintendent and his top advisors.
You won't find any $1,000 bar tabs, luxury hotels or first class flights. But we did uncover a pattern of consistent travel that adds up to tens of thousands of dollars every year. District-wide, the number reaches into the millions.
Clark County Superintendent Walt Rulffes is the public face of the nation's fifth largest school district. It is a high-profile position requiring regular contact with students and teachers, public officials, and counterparts nationwide.
To meet those demands, according to travel records, the superintendent averages an out-of-district excursion every month. So where's Walt?
Between 2008 and 2010, he went to San Francisco four times, two trips to Washington, D.C., Monterey, California and Portland, Oregon. He also stopped off in Phoenix, Atlanta and Seattle. Within Nevada, he went to Reno, Carson City or Tahoe 20 times.
While some costs were covered by the event hosts, the vast majority came from district coffers, with trips ranging from more than $2,000 to less than $400.
But incomplete records provided by the district make it impossible to calculate a total.
Stephen Augspurger, the executive director of the Clark County School Administrator's Union, questions not only the cost, but the value.
"What is the end result and purpose of that travel and for what benefit to the organization? It always has to translate down to schools, teachers, administrators and kids," he said.
Dr. Rulffes declined to discuss his jet setting, but his cabinet's most frequent-flyer, and yes they get to keep their miles, defended her spending.
"It's simply a cost of doing business," said Associate Superintendent of Government Relations Joyce Haldeman.
More than $37,000 worth of business travel was spent between 2008 and this year for Haldeman.
See Joyce Haldeman's expense reports for 2008, 2009 and 2010
"I can't tell you how much I would love my responsibility to be to drive down to the Sawyer Building every week and have that be my responsibility, but it's not. It's to be in Carson City," she said.
Like Rulffes, Haldeman, the district's chief lobbyist, is a frequent traveler to northern Nevada. She goes monthly for two to four hour meetings of the Nevada Association of School Superintendents, also attended by Rulffes, and weekly during the legislative session.
In 2009, the district spent nearly $50,000 to maintain Haldeman and two other employees in Carson City, not counting their six figure salaries.
"We don't hire contract lobbyists. We do the work ourselves in an attempt to save the taxpayer dollars," she said.
According to the records, during the session Haldeman travels modestly. Accommodations at $38 a night, economy airport parking and the use of a district vehicle instead of a rental.
But the sheer volume of weekly round trip flights, plus a $50 a day per diem, quickly add up. But should the taxpayers pick up the bill for Haldeman to come home on the weekends?
"Are you suggesting that as a part of my job I should move to Carson City? Again, I would just reiterate, it's the cost of doing business," she said.
The district has cut its overall travel costs nearly in half during the last three years, from nearly $4 million in 2008 to just over $2 million this year. Most of those trips, according to the district, are for training and professional development.