Bureaucrat Beat: Hey, Wait a Minute! Government Out of Bounds

After a chat session at the Bureaucrat Beat card table, we all agreed on the concept of “Hey, wait a minute!” The tipping point. That’s the time for the people to rally against bureaucratic foolishness.

We’re way past “Hey, wait a minute!” on the federal level. One of the presidential candidates said something about having to keep better track of state government where budgets have to be balanced. Oh, fine. So, now the standard for our national budget is debt?!?! Where there is debt, there are interest payments. That’s where the poor schmucks, better known as the average citizens, come in with their pocketbooks.

Here’s a woman who recognized “Hey, wait a minute!” when she was shopping at Kmart. Mary Bach of Philadelphia, PA, sued Kmart for taxing toilet paper which is non-taxable in PA. The court ruled in her favor, awarding her $100 and court costs. Paltry result, you say? Mary Bach said it was not about money but about educating consumers. “You can’t trust what’s happening in the market place today,” she said. An elderly woman willing to act on the proper moment for the benefit of all. By the way, all major television networks covered her story which also appeared on many major sites on the internet.kmart.jpg

Locally, “Hey, wait a minute” came for Inyo County when the Water Department counted up a dozen disputes with DWP over the water agreement and did nothing, except to agree to more talking. For Mammoth, the “Hey, wait a minute” came some years back during negotiations over a development agreement with Intrawest. That pivotal moment lacked parking and probably other things.

More recently for some citizens, Caltrans refusal to repaint crosswalks on the repaved Main St. of Bishop signaled the “Hey, wait a minute” moment. One more letter on the absent crosswalks:

You need ears to hear. Caltrans District 9 has had to tolerate. Oops! I mean listen to numerous comments, but has yet to hear one. What’s the big deal. Why not spend the funding in a way that benefits everybody. Most importantly those who cannot speak or in this day and age, email. Over $100,000,000 could buy a few elevators to cross the street. Everyone in the area knows it’s dangerous to cross 395. That’s a tough engineering concept to comprehend. Caltrans should have employees in Bishop cross the street every lunch for a week and report back on the experience. It’s a high occupancy, heavy load highway that transports nuclear waste. It might take a rocket scientist to figure out because it is so dangerous. I don’t have much experience with Plutonium, but I don’t think you’re supposed to touch it.

Just another resident missing a limb and enjoying my hearing aid. Thanks for creating an environment that fosters environmental responsibility and kindness.

From a pedestrian

Okay. Thanks for the on the ground perspective.

Currently in the news, Mono County’s Assessor Jim Lovett. Citizens started a campaign to recall Lovett. Members of the Mono Board of Supervisors have publicly stated that Lovett has a drinking problem, works only about 12 hours a week and takes home at least $130,000 a year from taxpayers. “Hey, wait a minute. This may not be illegal, but what gives?” We’ve left messages for Lovett to call us and defend himself. We’re still waiting.

Want to ask Mr. Lovett some questions? He’s scheduled to speak to the Mammoth Town Council Wednesday evening about the reassessment of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. He’s a public official in public territory.

Many of us noted the flood of public response to the death of Corporal Wayne Geiger of Lone Pine, killed in Iraq in October. The return of his body to his home county of Inyo and open funeral services drew a major outpouring of attendance and emotion.

Thanks to the Los Angeles Times for the lengthy obituary on Sunday. The writer, Louis Sahagun, known to us in the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom, did a beautiful job of revealing young Geiger’s positive character traits and the community’s soulful response. The quote Sahagun drew from Jeff Tropple of Lone Pine on young Geiger’s death said it for many of us. “We were overwhelmed with a sense of ‘this is home.'”

For that we have to thank Wayne and the Geiger family.

With that, this is Benett Kessler signing off for Bureaucrat Beat where we await your word on our lives in the Eastern Sierra and beyond.

 

 
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