$107M flap caused by one state’s highest paid
By Oregon Tax News,
State radio network is 22% over budget
Plans to build a statewide emergency radio network are running late and $107 million over budget, according to internal state audits and reports. The documents indicate that mismanagement, missed deadlines and hidden costs have pushed up the price tag to $592 million well beyond the $485 million that state officials were citing only a few months ago, The Oregonian reported Wednesday.
Director in charge of project was one of state’s highest paid employees received a 23% raise in 2007
In September 2007, Governor Kulongoski gave Ball a raise from $135,000 to $166,000, a 23 percent raise. With more than $200,000 in total annual compensation, by the time Ball retired, he was one of the highest paid employees with the State of Oregon, according to The Oregon Politico’s GovDoc’s site.
In 2007, legislators killed a plan proposed by Governor Kulongoski for a $665 million network. At that time, Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose), called the spending proposal “frankenbudget–it’s cobbled together in a weird way.” Rep. Donna Nelson (R-McMinnville), said she felt as if she were being asked to sign a blank check. (Oregonian, May 9, 2007)
An outside audit released to The Oregonian provided a stinging critique of the project’s management under the previous director, Lindsay Ball, who retired in August. Ball did not respond to a request for an interview.