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Vallejo, Stockton, San Bernardino, Scranton, PA. Everybody seems to be jumping on the BK (Bankruptcy) bandwagon. We thought San Diego was going to be the next victim. Uncertain economic times can create issues of governance. John Moorlach proved all that back in 1994. When you think about it, Bob Citron probably was involved in some of the first Derivative manipulations going. It took Bill Clinton in 1998 to finally do away with Glas-Steagal so that “Citronese” could become part of the growing lexicon of “phony baloney economic investments”. Oh, we are pretty sure CALPERS and CALSTRS were already on board and into the Merrill-Lynch cook book….even back then. The thought of making 20% a year on your investment portfolio …..was just too lucrative!
It has been interesting to watch little towns like Vernon self-destruct. These folks were not the sharpest tools in the shed, but they thought they were. The City Manager figured he could use City money for anything he wanted. He soon became a “short term – long term” lending source for his prospective girlfriends and real estate pals. Hey, so things didn’t work out……he and the Police Chief got big, big pensions, retirement plans and health insurance…..for life! Well, of course we haven’t been watching the criminal proceedings recently, so we can’t say whether the right folks will get life!
San Diego, El Cajon, Escondido or Santa Fe Springs, Cudahy, Stanton or who else…maybe the next victims in testing their ability to offer more than they could or can deliver to either Public Employees or the Citizens of the City! What happens when the City Credit Cards are turned down at the local Starbucks? Normally, the “Cover Ups” start immediately. Everyone goes into hiding. The Finance Chief goes on a long vacation. The City Manager suddenly becomes unavailable for meetings with almost anyone. The Police Chief goes out of town to take a Law Enforcement Seminar! The excuses come in droves! No one knows much of anything….until it is announced at a City Council Meeting that – the lights will be turned off – Friday!
We have an idea. Whenever a City or County goes into Bankruptcy…..there should be an investigation by the State Attorney General’s office. There should be a lesson learned. There should be a definitive list of reasons for the failure of public confidence. Each and every member of the City Council or County Board should submit their immediate resignations. No excuses…..no Retirement or Separation Pay. No more Health Insurance…ever! No, it is just about time that when the Public confidence has been breeched – there should be ramifications. There should be meaningful consequences. California or any State Legislators need to take responsibility for serious penalties and criminal proceedings against the wrong doing electeds! Bad Luck? Sadly, these things do not take place overnight because of a lightning strike. Bad things happen..because of only one of two reasons: (1) Wrong Doing! or (2) Not paying attention!. Either behavior is totally unacceptable with results that should be memorable! Without a suitable penalty for failure…..there is every chance that the behavior will be repeated.
In Scranton, P.A. the Fire Fighters and Police are getting minimum wage pay checks. The City fathers failing to identify the problem, just woke up one morning and said: “We can’t afford to make payroll!” “Let’s just pay everyone minimum wage….and see if they notice!” Who are these folks? How did they get in control on anyone’s life. Do they need a flashlight on their forehead and an Indian Guide….to get home at night? Just submit your resignations and move out of town folks….no one is going to miss you….that is for sure! Bankruptcy should be the absolute LAST ACT before you shut off the lights and go home….forever!
Suddenly, the concept is that “Well…..if they did it…..we can do it too!” No fellas and gals….Wrong! Whatever they did…needs to be punished. If you do it too….you are worse than they are. At least they came up with it first. You didn’t even think of it – until they did it. You are both dumb and dumber! Congratulations!
New Dominos? Please don’t……do it!