In with a gaelic twist today.
In Moonbat Valley this week, the part time County Commissioners who I believe are all liberals of some sort, gave themselves a 33% pay hike. This they did over the objections of nearly every taxpayer who bothered to take notice.
Giving yourself a 33% pay hike is not a horrific event if you are making a few thousand a yr. But if you are already making 61, 500 and then say, "Hey I got a great idea, let's give ourselves a 20,400 dollar a year raise!... well that is almost like slapping your constituents in the face- many of them making 40- or 50k a year at full time jobs. Oddly enough, the measure passed unanimously although I noted that one "departing" commissioner said earlier this year that he was "against" the monster raise.
He was always that gutsy.
It is also worth noting that the commissioners gave themselves a paltry 11% raise the year before. That is a cumulative 44% in two years.
Here's the link to the piece. I always try to sign my name and having been relegated to the pastures of the retirement community, I don't mind spanking people without fear of retribution. http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2005148263#.UfMXQxz5knY
The commissioners will not be sending me a meat and cheese tray for Christmas although it appears quite likely, they could afford to do so if they wished.
Can you imagine walking into your job on Monday and demanding a 33% raise or failing that, simply appropriating a like amount from the safe?
Now I don't pretend to know all of the details of what a County Commissioner does- although I have had a few friends who were commissioners. They assured me it was a rather easy gig, but often very time consuming. I knew one commissioner who actually worked his butt off. He was one of those rare people who did this kind of thing to advance his community. In the old days, we called this "public service." He probably worked harder than all of these people and he was a gentleman. Len Harlig was his name.
So commissioners read things like applications after they have been routed and reviewed by various departments. They develop meeting agendas. They usually have a county attorney attending their meetings who interprets and advises them on legal issues. They are quick to delegate work to reviewing departments and the county manager. The county manager is supposed to do this kind of work full time- and in the case of Moonbat Valley- he is like the Yeti. Some say that he exists, yet I have never personally seen him.
So mostly I think, commissioners read, attend meetings, make up their minds, and then pretend to be open minded as a developer or department head pitches some project or budget. They are the budget deciders. They always know how each other is voting and sometimes, they will vote a dissenting opinion although they know it won't cause an application or proposal to fail. Sometimes they will nod approvingly and solemnly while secretly mulling over what type of wine to have with dinner that night or whether they paid their American Express bill on time. They also attend ancillary meetings on additional pet projects and they talk with the press.
A couple of years ago, the Moonbat Valley Commissioners even commissioned a working group to study and compare with other communities-whether their salaries were adequate. Unfortunately, the working group came to the conclusion that the commissioners were adequately paid and said so.
The first job of all committees is to rig them with people who will give you a friendly result. This is not rocket science. If you want to rig a committee, talk to a school district. They are professionals. There is nothing more embarrassing than putting together a committee and receiving some truthful and adversarial result. That is not what committees are designed to do. They are designed to take the heat off of the people who are going to benefit so that they can get re-elected. That way, it makes the whole process look honest and above board.
I worked in government for nearly 25 years and what it taught me- was a horrible disdain for all things political.
I wasn't predisposed to that result, I simply let the truth take me where it would. I suppose I could pretend that all of this does not happen and ignore it. Most do.
On the other hand, my Uncle Lynn tells me- that you must always confront stupid. I have to admit- I like confronting stupid and that's why I write. Which brings me back to the gaelic and one universal truth. You are entitled to your opinion- do not be afraid to utter it if you are culling out stupid and have a well thought out position.
But know this. Some people have no sense of shame and they will send an aircraft carrier full of ridicule your way for having the audacity to point them out. I have a simple solution.
The other day, some jail work crew was in my alley weed whacking. The crew leader noticed my car and my license plate frames colored with the Irish flag and said, "What does "pog mo thoin" mean? And with a conjunctive word first, I mean to say that he butchered that phrase just like he was sounding through the syllables.
Gaelic with a brogue is tough to pronounce, so I've included a tutorial. You can buy the license plate frames on E Bay for 5 bucks.