SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Statement on Hotel Reimbursement
By Sen. Bert Stedman


September 12, 2011
Monday PM

Recently, legislators from 13 western states gathered in Hawaii for the Council of State Governments’ Annual Conference.  My participation was highlighted in the press due to excessive hotel fees that were incurred inadvertently.  A reservations error with the hotel resulted in an expensive room I never requested.

Quite simply, racking up exorbitant costs while traveling on state business is not how I operate.   The cost of legislative travel is guided by federal per diem rates posted for each city to prevent excesses.  Once I realized there had been a mistake, I immediately instructed my staff to contact the hotel management to determine how this happened before accepting any reimbursement from the state.

The news media always reviews expense reports for legislators traveling on state business and I knew that questions would be forthcoming. However, it was going to take some time for my office to work out the details between the accounting office, the conference sponsors and the hotel.  We were finally able to reach a resolution on August 31st but by then the media had already reported the excess cost.  It was never my intent to pass on the additional cost to the state that I was responsible for.  I have requested and received reimbursement at the rate of $160 per night which is below the federal per diem rate of $177.

While jumping to conclusions without waiting for all the facts might make a sensational story, it’s not always accurate.  The news runs on a 24 hour cycle but it takes longer than that for our internal accounting process to remedy mistakes.  I appreciate the opportunity to report on the conclusion of the review of this matter.

Sen. Bert Stedman
Sitka, AK

Received September 09, 2011 - Published September 12, 2011



Viewpoints - Opinion Letters:

letter Webmail Your Opinion Letter to the Editor



Note: Comments published on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not represent the opinions of Sitnews.


E-mail your letters & opinions to
Your full name, city and state are required for letter publication.

SitNews ©2011
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska