Some you can.. some you can't.
Local government, elected and salaried, use the "but we have to do it because the 'state' or 'feds' have mandated it" cop-out, every time they have to do something that they know will be unpopular with the taxpayer. Take the stormwater runoff program that will likely develop into a costly and unmanageable nightmare for local regulators. Not one of our leaders have suggested that until all the questions have been answered in full, they should not adopt it. What has happened to forceful and courageous leadership? None of the experts can seem to answer the simplest of questions on how much it will cost, how it will work or even what identifiable benefits it will provide. Sure, the idea is noble... cleaner streams and rivers... protected drinking water supplies, but the proposal to monitor every drop of water that flows across the ground is an impossible task without bankrupting government. It is one of those proposals that look good on paper, and have noble intent, but in the end will do more harm than good by sucking up resources that could be used on a realistic program.
A good example for how stupid stormwater runoff tracking is, is to pour a cup of water on the ground and watch how it flows and is absorbed into the soil. Now repeat the experiment a few yards away. Would you expect the patterns to be identical? Of course not. Now repeat the experiment when it is 95 degrees and also when the ground is frozen. And with a bucket of water, then a tub full. You can imagine the possible permutations and variations. Also, how is the program going to control pollution at the side of the highway? When we drive, minute specks of rubber and drops of oil are shed from the vehicle - even one in perfect condition. Multiply that by millions and it is plain that we don't have the technology to clean up the highways, let alone prevent the pollution on them. Sure, we can spend money paying lip-service to a cleaner environment but the benefits are likely to be minimal at best.
Now lets examine a mandated program that is achievable, but requires more effort from the public school system. No Child Left Behind, a federal program that requires individual schools to meet a federally set standard, is causing an uproar because education leaders say it is unworkable. It is interesting that while the money was flowing there was little objection but now schools have to actually meet the standard, they are claiming it is impossible to achieve. In other words, after spending the money they don't want to play the game, so it was a wasted effort.
If it is OK to object to No Child Left Behind, that is workable, why can't we object to the stormwater runoff program that isn't.
What do you think?
City and county governments are preparing themselves for budget time. The City of Cleveland did a good job of curbing spending last year, although a few projects that they said were put on hold seemed to have been mysteriously resurrected.
Bradley County however, raised the bar to the tune of $1.8 million, almost 10%, even though there was no increase in property tax. Also the sheriff's department had an infusion of drug money from the January 12th, $1.15 million cash bonus, on top of their budget, so it has not been a particularly lean year for them either.
How will the county measure up to Cleveland this year?
My guess is that Cleveland's effort was a flash in the pan and they will be pressurizing the Bradley County Commission to enact a wheel tax to give them more funds. Commission members, if past experience is any measure, will likely find some mandate or the threat of a property tax increase, as an excuse to force the public into accepting the new tax.
There will be an appearance of making cuts but when the math is done, it will uncover a repeat of last year's increase in spending.
I hope my forecast is inaccurate and County Mayor, Gary Davis demands a humble apology, but I don't think so. Unfortunately the quality of leadership necessary to get control of spending is not present today. We have good managers but weak leaders.
What do you think?
The Weekly bashing.
I was determined not to mention the Bradley News Weekly this month because the Cleveland Daily Banner beat them into first place, but the temptation is too great, so I do apologize to my readers for indulging myself.
Will somebody please enlighten me as to why some men in Bradley county feel compelled to dress up as women. Not the whiskered lumberjack kind of party fun of a butch man in a lady's frock, but the $100 facial make-over that any woman would be proud of. There seems to be no shortage of men willing to be photographed in this way. Charity, you say. I'd rather give the charity the $100 and keep my eyebrows and the respect of my wife. I mean, they are not doing it to be funny, are they? And presumably they are not transvestites. So why do they do it? And why would the Bradley News Weekly want to feature them on the front page so often? I'm an outsider, that must explain it.
But seriously, I have lived in many places but never have I seen so many men willing to dress up as women for charity.
And while we are on the subject of the Weekly's unusual coverage - I would like to mention the insulting remarks they made about the citizens of the 6th District. It seems the Weekly has the notion that people in the 6th District are trailer trash and somehow believe that all Bradley County School System's problems are not due to an inept and wasteful Board of Education but because 6th District residents care more about NASCAR and high school football than education. And these people are their customers.
Who would have thunk it?
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