Driving Mr. Alonso

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

After a steep decline in 2008, the cost of overtime pay for city school employees is rising again, and that's cause for serious concern.

But school officials are going to have an even harder time coping with the problem if they also have to fight the perception that city schools CEO Andrés Alonso is part of it.

Last year, the police sergeant whose duties include providing security for Mr. Alonso as well as driving him to appointments around town more than doubled his base salary in overtime pay. That's an appearance of extravagance the city can't afford.

At a time when everybody else is being asked to make sacrifices, Mr. Alonso ought occasionally get behind the wheel himself for routine trips that don't require police protection or involve late-night meetings. There are many reasons for citizens to be concerned about rising school overtime costs, but whether the CEO's chauffeur is grossly overpaid shouldn't be one of them.

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