Governor Schwarzenegger was Tuesday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”. Here are his words:
“Hello, this is Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger with another California Report.
I want to talk to you today about what we are doing here in Sacramento to live within our means. And we all know this is very important.
One of the most exciting developments is the Waste Watchers hotline and website, which is helping us to root out waste, fraud and abuse in state government.
Waste Watchers allows you to hold government accountable, by anonymously reporting state practices that just don’t add up.
We launched “Waste Watchers” just in June.
And let me tell you something, we have been hearing from everyone… from the public… and from our state employees who are on the frontlines, seeing inefficiencies and abuse first hand.
By July, we already had nearly 2,500 comments, suggestions and complaints.
We’ve heard amazing stories, so let just me give you some examples here:
We received for instance a report that a brand new $111,000 medical device has been collecting dust.
It had been warehoused at a state hospital because it wasn’t needed. Imagine that. So we quickly transferred it to another hospital, where it can be put to good use.
Here is another Waste Watchers suggestion. They suggested that we cancel plans to hire a senior administrator for the Department of Parks.
What a brilliant idea. It saved us $103,000.
Now here’s another one: nearly 90 people have reported the need to get rid of state vehicles that are underused, or are being taken home by state employees.
We have already launched a comprehensive fleet reduction effort. And the projected savings for the first year alone is $24.1 million.
Isn’t that wonderful?
Of course, not every report has a big number attached, but it all adds up. For instance, we heard about a flat-screen TV purchased improperly by a state employee.
Well, that worker has reimbursed the state $500. And think about this: we have more than 200,000 state employees. That kind of watchdogging can really add up.
A Waste Watcher’s complaint also led us to find a corporate sponsor to cover the state’s $6,000 cost for an annual gang and drug prevention event.
You see this is the kind of public-private partnerships that I love and it saves the state money.
And these are just a few examples of what we have been hearing.
Now, I want to hear from you, I want everyone to get involved in the action. I want to hear from you and I want you to know that I am listening.
If you have a suggestion, you can submit your comments online at wastewatchers.ca.gov.
Or, if you would rather speak to someone directly, call: 1-877-492-2552.
So, I want to thank everyone who has already taken action to help, especially our state employees.
Because they have really stepped up to report abuse and waste, and they have told us how we can make things better and how we can make government run more efficiently. We are working together, to make government run more cost effectively, because this is so important.
I am committed to accountability in state government. And I am committed to making sure that every single tax dollar is used wisely. That’s what it’s all about.
I promised that as Governor I would cut state spending.
And let me tell you something: we have done exactly that and we have been successful. We have cut spending to its lowest growth rate in recent history.
There is much more work to be done, but together, we are changing the way Sacramento does business that is the bottom line.
So I want to say to all of you thank you very much for your hard work, for reporting, for communicating with us.
Thank you for listening and thank you for watching.”
The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard each weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:47, 7:47 and 8:47am.
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