Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Incest For Fun and Profit, Part Two of a Series: David A. Vogt

While we are on the subject of board members that are in bed with contractors, we really should take a look at David A. Vogt. You see, he is in bed with so many architectural firms, you'd think his Conflict of interest forms were a whore's little black book. It took three pages to list all of the firms that he has conflicts of interest with. Again, this begs the question, if he can't vote on any construction projects because he is in bed with all these architectural firms, why is he on the board? In fact back in 2004, several of these firms donated money to a PAC that in turn donated money to him (among others). Think maybe that they figured they'd be getting their money's worth?

One other point and this is true of ALL the board members. The board is an unpaid position, but somehow, the district has decided to give each and every board member FREE medical/hospitalization/dental insurance. But the Governor has vetoed it and John Pickelman is none too happy about it...

From: Pickelman, John
Sent: Mon 6/18/2007 9:37 AM
To: All Employees
Cc: 'richard.carpenter@ccsn.edu'; Campbell, Richard; Daniel, Chris; Holsey, David; Flotte O'Neill, Maria; Fox, John; Kelly, Priscilla; Maria at Work; Marquard, Stephanie; Priscilla Kelly; Bates, Randy; Vogt, David A
Subject: Governor's Veto

Last Friday, the governor vetoed the second year appropriation for community college health insurance premiums. The amount for all community colleges is $154 million dollars. NHMCCD’s portion of that figure is $10 million dollars. The governor’s rationale is that state law does not allow health insurance premiums to be paid for employees whose salaries are not paid by state funds. The intent of this law is to ensure that employees whose salaries are paid by grant funds, auxiliary funds or physical plant accounts do not receive state funds for health insurance premiums. NHMCCD has strictly abided by this provision. However over the years as the level of state funding for community colleges decreased, community colleges have had to raise local taxes and tuition and fees to make up the difference and meet increased demands from enrollment increases. Since 1991 the state’s share of our operating budget has decreased from 65%^ to 28%. During this time period the contributions from the state for health insurance premiums have continued. It is interesting to note, that the governor’s calculations do not include tuition and fees, yet tuition and fees are considered when calculating the health insurance premiums for universities. Why has the governor taken such action? We believe that he has received bad advice. What is most disturbing is that the official statement justifying the veto for health insurance premiums accuses all 50 college districts as “falsifying” their appropriations requests. Of course, this is absurd.

What can be done? The Texas Association of Community Colleges of which I am the Chairman of its Board of Directors believes that the governor has no statutory authority for this line item veto. We are currently consulting with legal experts to determine if our opinion has merit. That opinion will dictate next steps. If that effort fails we will do all in our power to inform legislators, community and business leaders, friends of community colleges to share with the governor their position on this veto. Hopefully, members of the legislature will agree with our position and include community colleges in an emergency appropriation in 2009 to restore the funding if legal action is improbable. I am confident that our Board of Trustees will do all it can to ensure that this veto will not affect the health coverage our employees now have. It is certainly a challenge. We have had them before and we have met them. We’ll do it again.

We will keep you posted.

Now the question that comes to my mind is: Is John Pickelman sending this as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the The Texas Association of Community Colleges, or is he sending this as the outgoing Chancellor of North Harris Montgomery County College District? Because if he is sending this in the capacity of the Chairman of the The Texas Association of Community Colleges, he is violating the law by using the facilities of the district for politiical purposes. But then again, since when has Pickelman worried about piddling things like ethics laws?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This man needs to be fitted for an orange jump suit!

June 21, 2007 11:33 AM  
Blogger Rorschach said...

Do you mean Pickelman or Vogt?
I am not aware of anything specific that Vogt has done wrong, only that it seems pointless to run for a position that is paid no money only to have to sit out over half the votes that are held. If he IS exerting influence when he should not, then I agree he should be wearing a jumpsuit.

June 21, 2007 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pickelman's outrage at the Governor for the state not funding insurance to non state employees should create an outrage for Mr. Vogt, as it seems that it is not his business that is paying his Health, hospital, life and dental insurance, but you and I the taxpayers according to an Open Records Request furnished back in May.

It looks like Mr. Vogt is getting all of his Insurance paid by us. And I thought that this was a non paid position?


June 21, 2007 12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG! I mean they BOTH need jump suits! LOL.

Daggummit! Let me put on my smiley face while these guys continue to rape us taxpayers, and then lie about it to the "guvner"


June 21, 2007 2:22 PM  

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