Although the worst governmental bureaucratic bungles and miscreance often costs millions, some are relatively inexpensive and can be brushed off (by the perpetrators) as small change. But these small change expenditures have to be paid for by somebody, and that somebody is you and me. And it all adds up. Quickly. Anyhoo, here are the nominees for the 2009 Government Small Change Adds Up Fringie Award.
1. County Deployment of Certified Helment Fitters. We can’t even calculate the wasted time and resources, and it probably isn’t very great. Still the whole thing was such a wonderful example of a decent idea (giving poor bike riding kids safety helmets) that quickly metastasized into a typical farce. We did get to learn, however, that Pam Keller is a certified helmet fitter. Front. Back. Got it?
2. Roscoe’s Famous Nuisance “Sound Study.” This little gem cost the city (us) $16K, and was a part of a plan to let Jack Franklyn keep playing amplified outdoor music. The “study” was performed by BonTerra, a land use opinion for hire, and not a qualified acoustical engineer. It all came to naught when the council finally decided to stop a very long pattern of looking the other way to multiple Municipal Code violations.
3. Red light camera legal fees. As a subset of another category we include this one. over $14,000 to attorney’s Jones and Mayer who lost the red light camera lawsuits. Well, that’s not so very much, is it?
4. Chief McKinley’s Cop Vest. We hear it was developed on lots o’ company time, but the cost to the taxpayers came in another form, too. A $100,000 stimulus grant in Obama Bucks bought a bunch of these vests for McKinleys own cops. Loretta Sanchez took the credit for these vests that cost twice as much as their predecessors. Still, they do have pockets for your penlight and your house keys. Decoder ring accessory optional.
This episode did create a wonderful image that is being considered for a Special Fringie Award. No hints. Use the link!