Friday, August 14, 2009

Flap Over Alleged Abuse of $200 Back-To-School Grants Continues

“What’s been reported to our department of human resources and witnessed by our county’s public assistance workers is really sickening at best.” ~~ Maggie Brooks


ATMs ran out of cash
High-end Electronics Flew Off Shelves
Darien Lake Tickets Big Seller at Wegmans

Community reaction "mixed"

“I think it's a nice gesture to say, take care of your children, but in all honesty, if you're giving money away--you can't tell people how to spend it.” ~~ Mark Welch of Rochester


Thank you letters from $200 grant recipients

SCATS ~~ Can't govt ever do anything right?


Anonymous said...

If I were a teacher, especially an RCSD teacher, I wouldn't spend one penny out of my own pocket for these kids this year. If they don't have the supplies, tell the kids to blame their parents.

Anonymous said...

I think you mean parent.

Anonymous said...

"Can't govt ever do anything right?"

SCATS, why do you generalize when it's a government mess created soley by Democrats with the help of a billionaire hedge fund guy?

You need to blame the right people who are at fault for this. The media has a tendancy to have the same lazy reaction when it involves Democrats.

Your casual reaction is surprising given the past concerns about wasting taxdollars.

I hope you're not going soft on government waste just because the Dems are involved in this instance.

SCATS said...

To 12PM ~~ It was a rhetorical question. At this point, I'm having trouble recalling the last time the govt, ANY portion of our govt, Rep or Dem led, that did something right. By the way, I'm too young for Alzheimer's. By the way, I'm too young for Alzheimer's. By the way, I'm too young for Alzheimer's. ;)

I acknowledged yesterday that I knew this "gift" was going to become another debacle from the moment I heard Paterson announce it. I blame him for not dispersing this in a more controlled way by using vouchers, etc. Personally, I think the money should have gone to school districts with instructions to have them buy & distribute the necessary supplies to ANY/ALL kids on the free & reduced lunch program. But I digress with my common sense ...

Anonymous said...

The dems have some explaining to do.
If they are going to sit back and do nothing or say nothing they are no better than their leader in Albany (paterson).
By the way since the dems toke over in Albany is it now ok for the "leader" to spend this kind of money with NO oversite???

Is Maggie Brooks the "only" politician concerned about us taxpayers????

SCATS said...

To 12:41PM ~~ Maggie has her own sinkholes of abused/wasted tax $$ to worry about 'splainin'. Rob-U-Trad ... Ren Square ... a soccer stadium ...

Anonymous said...

12;49 from 12;41
is it your position to justify "this" garbage by throwing out other garbage?

THIS item smells because it's all about BUYING votes and we all know it.
It is IN YOUR FACE to the taxpayers and the dems are behind it. The DEMS owe us an explaination on THIS item.

SCATS said...

To 1:27PM ~~ I'm not trying to justify anything. I'm just waiting for readers to realize I have a problem with both parties ;)

SCATS said...

Just for fun, I thought I'd post this press release I saw today:

Lee & Andrews: Brooks Grandstanding on Backs of Working Families

(Rochester, NY – August 14, 2009) –Monroe County Legislators Calvin Lee (D-Rochester) and Carrie Andrews (D-Rochester) today questioned the County Administration about their August 13 press conference denouncing the Governor’s program to provide working families with $200 in back-to-school funding. In light of the millions wasted on the Administration’s failed Renaissance Square project and the ongoing ROBUTRAD corruption investigation, Andrews and Lee offered the following statement.

“Accusations of fraud must be taken seriously and investigated. If fraud is discovered in this program, it needs to be halted. As with the ROBUTRAD investigation, we look forward to seeing the results of a meaningful inquiry into the alleged fraud reported by an unknown number of retailers.

“However, we are astonished that this County’s Administration needs only two days to call for federal and state investigations into a program designed to help the working poor get back-to-school supplies for their children, but missed millions of dollars of criminal fraud by her ROBUTRAD cronies that has been going on, according to the FBI, for many years.

“The county executive never called for an investigation by the state or federal government to look at the theft of millions in county taxpayer funds by her political allies; instead she chose to privately ask a political partner. Why didn’t she have a press conference in June 2008 announcing that she referred the ROBUTRAD complaint to the Sheriff? The answer is simple; it wouldn’t politically benefit the Republicans.

“It is unfortunate that we have an administration that has no reservations about spending over $20 million on a project that failed because they refused to work cooperatively, an administration that permitted a criminal fraud potentially costing taxpayers more than one million dollars, but yet they get a call from Wal-Mart and within days they bolt into action. Where are their priorities?”

Anonymous said...

One word decribes these two legislators - phony

my dogs bigger than your dog
my frauds bigger than your fraud

Charlie Hubbard said...

A word for the 2 legislators as posted.

The city is now spending over $22,000 per student per year and this is NOT enough to include class room supplies???????
And you for some reason feel YOU have credibility that others don't.

Again - thats EVERY year.

I am very interested in hearing other elected officials have to say about this issue because THIS items speaks volumns.

I for one give Maggie Brooks alot of credit for speaking out.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering WHY Walmart and Wegmans even bothered to call and make reports of "fraud" in the first place--so their OWN images would be spared? OK..Wii games, big TV's, etc was over the top....and the Darien Lake tickets (although pricey) might be the ONLY recreation/vacation a kid will get this summer; so if the money was given with "no strings attached", then who can blame them for wanting a portion of it for a "fun" thing. (And how would Wegmans even know that it was the gift money or the regular benefits received??)

I bet many that received that money in their EBT accounts didn't even know it was coming (as they admittedly said there wasn't any notice mailed to them). I enjoyed reading the stories of gratitude-many others needed and appreciated the help for which it was intended.

I know a family where both parents work good jobs, but one had a job-related injury and unable to go back yet. The only help they get is some food stamps to supplement the income. Their old car needed repairs and they have 3 kids in school & they pay all their own bills--so this gift of money for the kids was VERY much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

9:28--In a perfect world, I would love not to buy extra supplies for kids who don't come with them. Yes, it is the fault of the parent, but I still feel terrible because it is of no fault of the child. Plus, if you shop at Staples during the last few months of summer, you can get some great penny deals!

Anonymous said...

It's true, the parent(s) and not the kids are to blame. Nobody wants kids to go without, but we feel bad putting restraints on HOW they spend OUR money. We want to trust that people who for the most part routinely make irresponsible financial decissions will somehow be responsible finally. Guess how that worked out, and boy, what a surpise. We feel, because they have convinced us so, that placing restraints (not just this hand-out either) on how they spend OUR money is demeaning, yet we never stop and wonder why they don't feel demeaned taking OUR hand-out in the first place. That "feeling" is what is supposed to motivate people in such a situation to change their situation. Most of the people in this system couldn't spell demeaned, yet alone feel it. And by not placing restraints on how they spend OUR money, were allowing them to teach all their children it's OK. Anyone that supports these unregulated hand-outs (welfare overall) can feel free to step forward and let me know where it's working. Then let me know why the number of people using it continues to rise.

Anonymous said...

10:44 - nobody is saying that there at not people out there that need assistance. Obviously the parents who bought tv's, video game systems and ipods on the people's dime didn't need this money for school supplies. Stop giving a single example to explain away the millions wasted on people who clearly didnt need it. This was nothing more than a but vote program or else they would have managed it better.

Anonymous said...

To 9:57: I gave the "one example" because I had said how I had enjoyed reading the other stories of gratitude-and so contributed an additional one.

I agree that this was one heck of a "freebie" for many who continue to abuse the system that's supported by taxpayers...but from what I understand, kids between the ages of 3 and 17 qualified for the benefit if the family was receiving ANY kind of government assistance. There are many agencies/church groups that hand out free school stuff, there should be no excuse for kids to be "doing without" this year.

I think more attention needs to be spent on welfare fraud. I see many here complaining, but wonder if any have actually reported suspected cases themselves? I have...many times (and with success!).

Anonymous said...

There are 2 large frauds here.

#1 The city school district is spending over $22,000 per student and for that kind of money one would think classroom supplies just might be included.

#2 N.Y. state raised taxes on some 80+ items including my rg+e bill because they were "short of money" all approved by Albany democrats. Now the head democrat "on his own" approves this "new" spending. THAT is a fraud and ANY politician who does not condemn this type spending is also a fraud reguardless of party.

Anonymous said...

12:38 - Since I don't know anyone receiving assistance (and least no one who shared that with me) how can I spot abuse? Where do you report it? It sounds like you'd have to be a grocery clerk or similar to witness this happening, right?

Anonymous said...

If you live anywhere (even) within sight of the Greece/Rochester border, you probably haven't a clue as to how far gone this welfare scam has gone. I don't say that so much as a challenge, but as a fact. Those in the INNER city has this system beaten more than anyone in Greece can understand. I wouldn't advise it, but take a ride down St. Paul, Clinton, Joseph, ect. starting at Main St. (going north to 104) and tell me about the vehicles you come across. They brands you come across would make the east-siders envious. I know that doing so will surely make the "race card" users come out in force, but ask yourself this: Why is it that the African-Americans are (by far) the most frequent participants of welfare in Monroe county, yet when you walk into malls in either Greece or Henrietta (and before that Irondiqouit or Midtown) a disporpotionate number of "shoppers" are African-American? Supporters of this welfare crap will have a simple (predictable) answer, it's because taxpayers don't provide these people with any other way to spend their time, right? Keep putting money into this system, it's working wonders!

SCATS said...

BLOG Administration rejected a comment stating completely inaccurate info related to comments posted by SCATS.

Anonymous said...

As a person who was previously on welfare, I beg you to please report any fraud you see. We used welfare as a hand up not a hand out as it should have been used and I still can't figure out why anyone would want to stay on it forever.

It was a pain in the rear to be on welfare for us and I would hate to ever have to do it again. People who fraudulantly use the welfare system make it incredibly difficult for people who have a real need for help to receive it.

By the way, I spent almost $200 getting my child ready for the school year. About $20 went to actual supplies that were required. The rest of the money went to clothing. I'm sure that the government must have realized the true cost of supplies when giving this allowance out and think that it's absolutely ridiculous.

When these people can afford to spend $200 on nice clothes then they should- until then, they should be shopping at Goodwill only and in limited amounts. I hate to sound mean but if these kids don't see that it takes hard work to have nice things, then we can only expect another generation of welfare abusers.

SCATS said...

BLOG Administration has rejected publishing a racially charged "suggestion."