A reasonable person expects County Administrators [Like our Representatives.] to collect whatever money they can squeeze from new business starts and residents to pay for their Agency’s operations ─ Initially, accurately calculated by a ‘starting budget’ to carry out their public charge; subsequently, expected to be increase by (at least) 10% (whether needed or not thereafter). This is normally the acceptable public standard considered ‘good government’.
In fact, imagine a Director (honestly cutting costs for his or her division) ─ strike that; a derelict who (at the end of a fiscal year) has money left over to return to the general fund. Clearly, that person (at a minimum) carelessly over-budgeted in the first place; or, is incompetent enough not to have applied the surplus savings strategically in his division. Such ‘careless incompetence and lack of initiative’ will (and should) be reflected when considering future promotion; if, for no other reason than demoralizing the organization by making every other division look bad ─ expecting them to so act incompetently. This is not cynicism; it is contemporary academic thought in public administration studies. We all understand this and accept it as a minimum standard of tolerance exemplifying ‘good government practice’.
However, like ‘the days of cheap gas’ ─ gone is the ‘acceptable minimum standard’ which has been replaced (in these parts) with ‘a level of tolerance far below that minimum sound public trust. In these parts, directors not only squeeze the above method, but also add creations of ‘surcharges and/or additional fees’ for doing [t]hat which previously they were obliged to do.
Even here, there is nothing wrong with this type of graft [Unchallenged at its inception upon intimation of civil action or confinement for non-compliance; and, rightfully so ─ considering the courts in these parts.]; initiated, under color of law and authority. Because, the new creations are justified by budget cuts, inflation, and reckless purchasing, contracting, and competently allocating their fiscal savings to secure justification for increasing their budgets 10% (supra.). Perhaps, the most important justification for these creations is the reductions of ‘County Welfare’ cuts by the federal government.
We all understand and accept this standard of ‘good government’. However, there is a certain limit of tolerance, below which subordinate directors and employees cannot fall without seriously compromising the integrity of the graft. Consider the following examples:
a) You are hired as an environmental inspector by the County and your job description requires that you inspect a new business at least 4 times during a business startup to ensure compliance ─ for which you get paid a salary (from public taxes) with benefits ‘A fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay’. However, now you charge the business a $1,000 fee to conduct the inspection to verify compliance. What then is your job? Inspecting and ensuring compliance for the public good; or, collection enforcer for the ‘new minimum standard of performance’. On the flip side, any oaf could reasonably conclude that the inspector is precluded from performing his or her public trust [But not precluded from receiving his public salary.]; unless, the inspector receives (for the Director) an additional $1,000 to perform the inspection.
b) How about this! You are an animal control officer hired to protect the public from dangerous animals; and, protect the non-dangerous animals as well. You detain two alleged dangerous dogs, which you testify need the ‘death penalty’; while, allowing them to breed and reproduce under your charge. Clearly, any fool or knave would suggest that this officer is reasonably fit and competent for the position.
c) Here’s a constitutionally scary one! The Land Use Services Division ( LUSD) issues a permit for one person to set up a 76 foot wind turbine generator in a residential area without due notice to the community affected; noticing, only to the neighbor’s directly adjacent to the single owner given the permit. On forma protest and complaint, the LUSD states the citizen can appeal [t]heir permitting decision ─ to [t]here administrative appellate court. Clearly, even the most incompetently ignorant or indifferent oaf would say ‘Good Luck’!]; requiring, a $1400 fee payable ─ to exercise your right [Or lose it before an appeal could be made to the County Board of Supervisors; requiring, an additional fee of approximately $1400. The County process takes about $400 as an administrative filing fee; and, get this ─ kicks-back the balance to the LUSD. Any insane person or lunatic would ask the obvious. First, what is the point of appealing to the LUSD since they are (conflictingly) the opposing party in the appeal, who the hell are the people sitting on this tribunal-bench deciding, and who is paying them? Second, why is the Board kicking-back a significant portion of the second appellate fee to the LUSD [To prepare the record they prepared in the first appeal [No doubt in their favor?]. Finally, why has no one (especially County counsels) disclosed that this duplicate process is patently unconstitutional ─ if for no other reason, than it makes it expensive or difficult to gain access to the courts upon the question of due process itself.
Its fiduciary conduct like this, that diminishes the integrity of ‘unjust enrichments’ normally acceptable by our public officials and representatives [Perhaps, by ignorance, indifference, or sincere confusion, laziness or lawlessness.]. This acceptable conduct lowers [t]hat limit of tolerance (compromisingly) below ─ [t]hat which is normally expected (and publically accepted) without challenge [By the competently sane Citizens in this County.] otherwise tolerable ─ which is fine. However, when such administrative conduct allows the most incompetently insane oaf to take notice of; and, objection to the new standard and level of diminished tolerance the sane are confidently considering ‘good government and public trust’! It is time to recommend the County conduct an oversight audit to ensure ‘the appearance of acceptable standards of payment for obliged performance’ (Aka: Graft) ─ is reasonably tempered justifying their taxed salaries and benefits accordingly ─ so the insanely incompetent oafs do not have to state the obvious for the sanely citizens-at-large in these parts.
Something to think about.
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- Walter Luce gave a progress report of the permitting process of their senior living project in California