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County bureaucrats aren't the only ones who get to have cellular-phone fun

Would that former city manager Roger Carlton had agreed. "The regulations govern that I have that phone for my public and personal use," Carlton growled when we questioned him about his $250 to $350 monthly tabs. "I used it on a very limited basis, to call my house to say, 'I'm coming home,' and to call my parents, who are elderly, to make sure they were okay."

Depends on how you define the word limited. In February Carlton placed 66 calls to his mom and dad and to his home, accounting for twenty percent of his $280 bill. He resigned in May, after his cell-phoneless bosses on the commission raised questions about his arrogance and his job performance.

Recently departed City Attorney Laurence Feingold, whose bills at times topped $400, has been the Beach's other big spender. Most striking amid his frenzied calling patterns was the lawyer's obsessive reliance on directory assistance. Feingold dialed 411 27 times in December, and another 40 times in January. Total cost to the populace: $46.25. Last month Feingold stepped down from his position. Beach officials have not yet indicated whether they plan to retire his phone.

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