Top of the Morning

Top of the morning

Somebody needs to buy a copy of  Excel for Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler.

A state audit released late last week shows that Troxler’s department cost schools $2 million and put public safety at risk by failing to fine companies that improperly store and transport propane gas. Many of the violators were repeat offenders.

Here is part of the department’s written response as reported in the News & Observer.

…. state Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said it started setting up a database in October 2009 to track violations and to set up a penalty system, but that work was harder than expected.

Setting up the database was too hard? The folks in the auditor’s office didn’t seem to have any trouble.

Auditors took a few weeks to develop a spreadsheet using Agriculture Department records. Said Dennis Patterson, spokesman for the state Auditor’s Office: “There was no complicated stuff.”

The real issue isn’t about a database or spreadsheet. It is the unwillingness of Republicans to support or enforce regulations, even when public safety is involved.

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Friday, Feb. 16

12:00 PM

Crucial Conversation – Prof. Peter Edelman discusses his new book, Not a Crime to be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America

Prof. Edelman is coming to the Triangle to mark the 50th anniversary of Durham-based nonprofit MDC. His visit is the first of a series of MDC-sponsored events focused on ways that Southern leaders can work together to create an Infrastructure of Opportunity that shapes a South where all people thrive.”