The Hard Hat & Shovel

The other day one of our commenters Fullerton Historian remarked on the propensity of politicians to don ridiculous looking hard hats and take on the millinery aspect of construction workers to ceremonially mark the beginning of a big, high visibility public works project. Silly gold painted shovels, picks and hammers are handed out to people who have very likely never put in a day’s work doing manual labor.

I got to thinking about this. Why are these people apparently addicted to looking ridiculous, and why do they do it?


To a man with a hammer every problem looks like a nail…

Then it struck me. They are talked into it by the very bureaucrats who have promoted some project or other. It’s way the bureaucrats can really show who’s calling the shots – by having their bosses stand up and look comical in public. Its sort of a combination of a dog peeing on a tree and the indoctrination of humiliation visited upon the kidnap victim of a terrorist. The politicians undoubtedly believe they are receiving potential photo-op material for their next campaign, but, boy, are they wrong.

So, the politicians are drawn into a web of complicity, the bureaucrats knowing that if (or, more likely, when) the project goes into the crapper, they have that image of the elected happily affiliating himself with the disastrous boondoggle and wearing a ridiculous hat, to boot.

Peligro, indeed…


Another essential Hillcrest Park project begins. How did it end?


The head and the hat were a perfect fit…


Bud surveys the construction site…Sebourn awaits his hard hat coronation.

But seriously. The real issue is accountability the whole way through.

Every politician wants to take credit for the start of the big project that they can put on their campaign flyers. But where are these hard-hatted folks when the project runs over cost and late; when change orders swallow up the project budget; when the finished project turns out to be badly designed, shoddily built, under used, or unnecessary? They are sitting on the dais, hoping like Hell that nobody thinks about the project or remembers the now embarrassing picture with the the hard hats and shovels.

And now let’s let Fullerton Historian take us home:

Too bad there’s no photo follow-ups of projects that went sideways, were involved embarrassing construction lawsuits, or that nobody uses, or that just became a maintenance sink hole.


18 Replies to “The Hard Hat & Shovel”

  1. I don’t think there has ever been a County public works project that wasn’t a disaster.

  2. That Bud Chaffee sure has an impressive hard hat collection. He reminds me of that picture of Michael Dukakis riding in the tank.

  3. They don’t seem able to refuse the opportunity to appear ridiculous.

    Or can it be possible they don’t realize how foolish they look? Check out the idiot grin on Nelson’s mug – even as he sports a way too small hard hat.

  4. Look at Flory trying to operate a shovel with her Birkenstocks. Somebody call OSHA before she loses a talon.

  5. I can tell you that my former mistress was better with a broom than a shovel.

    After shoveling my poop in the backyard she came after me with the broom. Whack!

  6. Nelson looks like one of those inflatable mexican kid birthday party castles that a UFO landed on top of.

  7. Bottoms Up
    “mexican kid birthday party castles” ?
    You might be a member of the FPD with that comment

  8. The original Hillcrest Park duck pond( now gutter canal), was a rose garden & lilly pond . It seems like the Hillcrest project needs to include some clear cutting so as to make room for some new foliage.A new stairway and entrance bridge just doesn’t seem to cut it. Arbor day might be the right time to start taking back Hillcrest back to the future

    1. Hillcrest Park used to be a real jewel. And then Fullerton’s ruling clique essentially abandoned it to barren decrepitude and infestation by perverts.

      When they did stat spending money there it was for pet staff projects instead of basic maintenance. Disgraceful.

  9. Three stairways…no waiting! The City should start a new yearly ritual: bungee jumping for clowns- but only for duly elected, hard-hat wearing public servants. I’ll bring the beer!

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