The following editorial was written in response to a report that appeared in The Modesto Bee. Former Modesto City Councilwoman Janice Keating rang up thousands of dollars in expenses during her last three years in office, charging the city for expensive cell phone bills and in-town mileage.

Some of the better read stories here at are about compensation for administrators.  It’s clear that our readership is interested in knowing what other local government officials are making.

We know that administrators of large government organizations – with budgets of hundreds of millions or billions of dollars – are not compensated anywhere near the level of their counterparts in the private sector.  That’s something that pubic administrators accept with the territory.

PublicCEO also wants to stay out of election issues.  This is not a political publication. Yet, an article appeared in the Modesto Bee on Thursday that caught our attention.

A former City Councilmember’s expense reports were examined in this story.  
Former Councilwoman Janice Keating reportedly billed the taxpayers for driving from her home to City Council meetings. We understand that it’s okay to be compensated for expenses associates with duties, but this is excessive.

We don’t expect elected officials to work for free but we do expect the community service portion of the responsibilities to be paramount.  Auto allowances or the use of a vehicle can be debated as proper compensation for an elected – but billing the taxpayer for a five-mile trip to City Hall?  

This is what makes elected officials look bad.

The PublicCEO Editorial Board is comprised of editor James Spencer, PublicCEO writers and local government officials throughout the state. All editorials represent the opinion of our entire board.