Thursday, July 20, 2006

mad,Mad, MAD!

Have you seen the news today? Desperately seeking my happy place! This picture also by my talented friend Waldo. Unfortunately, it's not helping!

The news... homeland security people use their government issued credit cards to swindle the American public after hurricane Katrina. It's just making me sick. Big screen TVs, paying double for rescue boats and then half of them unable to be found, a beer making kit, a warehouse full of dog booties. The list just goes on and on, and the real question is WHY?

This makes me crazy on a number of different levels.

I'm a small town treasurer. We have 22 employees (not counting the lifeguards in the summer). According to state law, in order to purchase a lightbulb it requires a form documenting what is to be purchased, who from and for how much. This must be signed by me and the administrator. The form is then assigned a purchase order number and the light bulb can be purchased. Once the invoice arrives, the information is put on a list that must be approved by a six man council before the item can be paid for. Tedious, yes. But there has never been so much as a missapropriated penny in this village.

In 2004 my small town flooded. We lost everything on the first floor of the municipal building. The safe and it's contents, file cabinets full of documents, computers, police radios.... it was terrible, and even that wasn't half as bad as what the residents were suffering with the same amount of water in their houses. Eventually FEMA came down to help us sort things out. We lost nearly $400,000 worth of equipment. In order for FEMA to replace anything, we had to have three quotes for replacement, a report from a professional saying it had to be replaced rather than repaird, a request form, a picture and full description of the item. From the initial request for the next eighteen months I had to file a report saying we had the item. Tedious? Oh yes. Also unneccessary.

But handing out 25,000 credit cards willy-nilly is just ridiculous. I've always said if you throw temptation into the face of even the most honest people, they will eventually give in. We need new government leaders, we need to revamp these crazy agencies. Anything with a title so long its better known by its initials must be overhauled and streamlined. Clear Congress, Clear the Senate, clear anyone in government from the President on down and let's start over.

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