Rusty McMahon: Do Taxpayers Matter?

A brief history of citizen input and public hearings…

We told County Commissioners that we neither needed nor wanted county zoning. 7000 citizens sent them post cards asking them not to zone the county. They publicly threw the cards in the trash and enacted zoning anyway.

We told them that we neither needed nor wanted county water. We got county water good and hard.

We asked them not to spend tax dollars on Paint Reclamation International. They did it anyway.

We asked them not to spend tax dollars on Semprius. They did it anyway.

Results… county zoning has been a costly disaster from which we have gained nothing; county water is a perennial tax sucking failure; PRI failed miserably; and Semprius continues to fail spectacularly. Anyone notice a pattern here?

Recently, we were asked to give input on a grant for a company that is planning to improve its local facility, not hire more people. Notwithstanding questions about the ethics and economic wisdom of this welfare, did the Commissioners really want our input? This question was definitively answered above the fold of last Sunday’s Dispatch. It’s hard to know the article’s origin because no one claimed credit. But we now know the answer. According to the article, “The hearing is to gather input… The Board will then vote to approve…” Not, the Board will take our input into consideration; not, the Board will then carefully deliberate. Instead, “the Board will then vote to approve.”

There we have it. We now know that regardless of whether we speak for or against something, the Board has already made up its collective mind. Always has…always will.

Proof positive, our thoughts and wishes don’t matter. To our leaders, we only exist to provide fodder for their foolish follies.