Although I don’t think I’ll be doing much posting about non-contiguous cities in OC, something’s a brewin’ down in Surf City and a pretty rancid odor has wafted northward and reached our Fullertonian nostrils. What’s happening is a saga that should be an instructive reminder to us, and, alas, is far too typical of the prevailing attitudes within city halls everywhere.
The story is told in some detail over at the Red County blog by it’s proprietor, Chip Hanlon.
It happens that in 2002 the good folks of HB passed a charter amendment to require that the City allocate 15% of its annual budget to infrastructure. And naturally the bureaucrats in City hall have been ignoring the mandate ever since. Apparently they are counting debt service and other items as “infrastructure” in a way nobody ever intended. Millions of bucks are being deliberately diverted from city infrastructure.
And also, naturally, the HB City Attorney has cooked up a load of legal bullshit to back up the city staff’s self-serving interpretation of what the charter amendment really means.
It seems that people are finally talking about strengthening the language in the charter to make sure the switcheroo stops, and at least one of the employee unions made it clear that they will have none of it.
Anyway, the HB City Council met the other night to review recommendations from an ad hoc committee to address this infrastructure issue. They continued the item for a couple weeks, so it’s not over yet. Any takers on how they’ll go?
Its ironic that critics of what goes on in city halls are labeled as divisive. But the divide between ourselves and those who work for us is clearly demarcated and understood by the employees themselves, whose interests are sometimes spectacularly incongruent with ours.