Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Death of local government

By now you must have heard or seen the news stories on a small town in California called Bell.  While the 38,000 citizens of Bell were looking the other way, the local politicians were looting the town's coffers to the tune of millions of bucks.  Seems the foxes were in charge of the chicken-coop and dining on gourmet chicken dishes.

The town manager, was getting a salary of $787,000, the police chief was near a half-million, and the members of the city council had all given themselves salaries in the $100K range....for their PART-TIME positions.  They did this even as they were laying off city workers, and cutting back dramatically on city services.  Apparently, they arranged all of this by giving themselves the right to not only set their own pay rates, but doing so in 'closed meetings'.  When the story broke, the citizens of Bell were obviously outraged and now there is going to be some sort of reckoning.  The state attorney general's office is looking into whether or not laws were broken and exactly how the thieves managed to do all this in defiance of the state regulations that specify maximum compensation rates for such positions.

At first glance, it appears they simply passed a resolution stating that they would not abide by state guidelines.  Hey, now there's a capital idea: don't like a law, or a 'guideline', just make your own law saying that you don't intend to conform.  I just cannot imagine how long they thought they could loot the city like this before it came out.  But, it is a perfect example of how people are empowering themselves to ignore the common good, set aside whatever is in their way....and do exactly what they want to in order to serve personal desires.  There is even a law in place in Bell that may require the city to pay an outrageous pension to the manager once they get rid of his sorry ass.  I think they need a good law firm and should just not pay the a**hole.  Put it all into the hands of a higher court system and show that these people were acting in bad faith, solely in their own interests, and sue the hell out of them for good measure.

When the city manager, a charming lout by the name of Rizzo (hmmmmm.... could he be related to Ratso Rizzo?)  was confronted with the massive wrongdoing that has happened on his watch, he went into a lengthy dissertation on all the good things these kind people have done for the city:  better lighting, nice parks, blah, blah, blah.  Are you kidding me?

Maybe tarring and feathering scoundrels and running them out of town on a rail was set aside too soon.

1 comment:

Teresa Evangeline said...

I had to chuckle over your closing statement. But, ostracism is probably the most fitting punishment for these miscreants.