Don't miss the articles in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram daily newspaper concerning Sister Cities.
The decisions by Joel Burns, Kathleen Hicks and Frank Moss to participate in Fort Worth Sister Cities exchanges this summer reflect a disconnect between their world and the real one where taxpayers live.
When Fort Worth residents are coping with their own difficult finances triggered by the same sluggish economy that pinched city coffers, it borders on arrogance for elected officials to think that spending public money on unnecessary travel is appropriate.
Two days before Hicks embarked on her trip, she was the lone "no" vote on the fiscal 2010 budget because it was, she said, "balanced on the backs" of laid-off workers and the city’s vulnerable residents.
"We say we don’t have any money, yet we find money for pet projects all around the city," she said. She wondered what kind of message that sends to the taxpayers.
Hicks’ actions, in such a contradiction to her words, sent a message she probably didn’t intend.