Bureaucrat Beat: Vows for 2010, Myopia and Pork Plus Debt

While we in the Bureaucrat Beat Newsroom feel once a year falls far short of the need to set goals for one’s self, we’ll go ahead and get with the program of the New Year’s resolutions. We’ll start with ourselves.

We vow to try harder to ferret out public officials and bureaucrats who do things to hurt people. There. That’s it. Oh, all right. We also promise to get our six month dental check-ups and to floss in between.

Now, on to others. Let’s take DWP first since they have more control over people here than any other single entity. So, here’s what we recommend:

  1. LA Mayor Villaraigosa will vow to admit that the Eastern Sierra is the source of all that Los Angeles has. Nearly 100 years of water exports from here to there have literally created the City. You owe us, LA.
  2. The Mayor and the DWP Commission will vow to treat the Eastern Sierra as the City’s honored source, to treat the people here as equals with true respect (kind of like they would treat their own mothers, okay – better than that).
  3. The Mayor, the Commission, and, oh, what the Heck, let’s thrown in Mr. Freeman, vow to honor the people and the land here with whatever they reasonably need. Let’s see now, they’re ready to spend $300 million on a solar project at the Owens Dry Lake, so that means they could afford to give us our water and sewer services for a very small flat fee in perpetuity.
  4. All of the above people and their staffs will vow to accept the obvious – when groundwater goes down too far, plants die.
  5. All of the above officials will never bully the people here again, not even accidentally.

Okay. That’s a good start. We’ll be checking. By the way, DWP, a 600% sewer rate increase for Independence? That’s not a good start!!!

Local officials who get all in a twist when someone tries to join Mono and Inyo over issues or who just can not tolerate that we are a region, lighten up in 2010! Provincialism went out with racism. Come on now, do you really want your neighbors to know you have a teeny, tiny mind that can’t join hands with those who have everything in common?

Speaking of microscopic brains, how about the statistic that nearsightedness in America is up 66% since the 1970s?!? You know – Myopia – the condition in which you can’t see, literally or figuratively, beyond the end of your nose. Seriously, scientists think the problem increased because of all the computer screen work and text messaging – hours spent squinting at itty bitty letters. Perhaps too much preoccupation with small ideas, too.

On the other hand, one of our Bureaucrat Beat fans, Jim Tyler, has a plan. Go big! Say, we come up with the World’s Largest Whatever. You know, like other towns have the largest ball of twine in the world, the largest six-pack, etc., etc. Tyler calls for the World’s Largest Mule and the World’s Largest Woolly Mammoth. We like that.

Oh, wait a minute. We’ve got to get back to the New Year’s Resolutions. We don’t want to just pick on DWP. We recommend that all of our County Supervisors and City Councilmen don’t let DWP bully people here. Remember, it only pays to build good will with people who already have some. Doing things because someone forces you with a lawsuit does not count as good will.

One of our local officials has already taken it upon himself to pretty much come up with New Year’s resolutions. Mono Sheriff Rick Scholl sent out a letter to say that he will seek re-election to the Office of Sheriff-Coroner. He says that he wants to hear from the public on any concerns. The Sheriff points to a future $30 to $40 billion state deficit and future cuts that may occur in his department. Sheriff Scholl vows to find creative ways to continue to deliver service with less money. That’s a vow all of our bureaucrats could take on.

Including Congress who voted in $6 billion in earmark spending for specific towns and states. They say it’s less than pork barrel spending under the Bush Administration. Maybe so, but they also just raised the debt ceiling by $290 billion. Our legislators will let themselves go into debt up to $12.4 trillion! Oh, for pete’s sake. That’s nuts. How about they vow to get rid of the national debt so we don’t owe people who could do us harm and so we don’t hit our children with bad debt news. That’s a good New Year’s resolution for Congress. Since they don’t listen to anyone, the best way to get Congress to reduce the debt? Tie it to their money. If they don’t earnestly start a debt reduction plan they lose an eighth, then a quarter, then half of their campaign contributions. Happy New Year, Congress!

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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