Monday, March 28, 2011

My fault officials delayed everything

I want to send a heartfelt thanks to the pension board members and some county commissioners for not taking care of business while I’m on vacation.

I mean surely that’s why the two panels delayed key issues many expected them to take a stand on Monday, right?

They were waiting for me to come back.

It’s not like the pension folks haven’t had some time to think about a proposal (to let to let four civilian employees jump onboard a retirement plan voters two years ago narrowly approved because they thought it was strictly for law enforcement and correction officers) since November.

Why not wait another month to make a decision?

Yes, the panel had some good reasons to initially delay it. That’s understandable.

The applicant’s attorney had some personal issues to take care of and had to bow out. But they’ve got a bad-ass attorney right now (the last one was pretty bad-ass, too, by the way.)

In fact, when the feds and Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones finally come crashing down on me, that’s who I’m hiring. Uh, that’s a bad joke – not reasonable cause. But I digress.

Anyhoo, according to News Sentinel Rebecca Ferrar – the poor sucker our editors tapped to cover a day’s worth of meetings for me – the good pension folks who love doling out money to lots and lots of attorneys (even though we have a pretty darn good group in the county law department that will do it for free) held off voting this time presumably because members wanted the pension board Executive Director Kim Bennett to write the county’s Top Cop and The Man with the Badge and ask him for details about the applicants’ duties, abilities and responsibilities.

I understand.

It’s tough, picking up the phone and making that call yourself. It practically killed me to do it when I wrote a story about this in one day. Tough stuff, folks. Tough stuff.

The board, according to my esteemed colleague, also must determine whether the four are deemed uniformed officers. That’s another tough one.

Because it is hard folks – hard I tell you – to call the merit office and ask yourself. It took me hours to muster the courage when I did it.

And, it’s also hard to look at these folks and determine whether they’re carrying guns and sporting shiny badges.


I tell, you, they’re just waiting for me to get back because they love me.

The commissioners love me, too – unless they read my blog – because they must want to share the glory of their decision-making with me.

Because the commissioners also delayed a key vote on a controversial isssue – whether to seize control of the fee office budgets.

Granted, it was a 6-5 vote to table the proposal, so – then again – maybe five of those folks don’t like me.

But, I understand this one, too.

These good folks only had a week – that’s seven days or 168 hours – to mull over an issue.

Maybe they really needed more time to digest it. Maybe it really isn’t about me. Could I be wrong?

I mean, it’s not like any of the local bloggers or media outlets during those seven days actually reported on the issue. Right? Do a google search. You won’t find anything. I’m sure. Really. Do one.

And it’s not like anyone – opponents, critics, crazies and others – called the commissioners, proudly claiming their stance. Just ask them.

And of course, no fee officers, like Criminal Court Clerk Joy McCroskey or Circuit Clerk Cathy Quist – held public tours of their officers last week, even after the commissioners requested it.

(Feel the sarcasm, baby. Cause, as I recall, only Commissioner Amy Broyles took the tours, along with the media.)

Wait, did I just say there were more media folks taking the tours than there were commissioners?


I must not have said that. I must have rambled it.

My bad.

Oh well.

The public understands. Oh yes it does.

You never hear the public complain about public officials delaying votes. If it does, it does not understand the need for transparency and research. No sir. The public doesn’t.

And hey, even if the executive branch and legislative branch takes control of those budgets, it won’t go into effect until the FY 2012-13 budget, so everyone has more than a year to figure out how to count your coins and spend your scratch.

But really, we get it. The elected and appointed leaders wanted to wait on me.

They don’t want to study this thing to death. They don’t want to call in The Pope and seek input from him. They’re just, er, waiting.

Seriously, why decide today on something you can put off tomorrow?

In the meantime, I look forward to the fourth Monday in April when we get to hear the same information we’ve been hearing all over again.

Cause that’s when we’ll finally get a decision.

Or not.


Anonymous said...

Because the attorneys in the Law Director's Office all have a personal financial interest in the county pension system, it has long been the case that they do not represent the pension board because it would create a conflict of interest.

Mike Donila said...

Really? So instead the board hired not one but two former county law directors to represent it? And aren't these the same law directors that represented the board when they were law directors? Sorry don't buy that argument.