At the beginning of each Commission meeting an emergency evacuation notice is required to be read. It isn’t read by a person and for quite some time I’ve wondered where the voice in the sky is coming from. Someone recently told me that it’s an audio recording. It saves time and eliminates the need to make sure that you have the notice handy to read. It’s easy for the Chairmen to simply push a button and play the notice.
The Commission could save a lot of time if the three most common reasons to rush something through were recorded and played as an audio at the start of each Agenda item instead of having to recognize Commissioners and listen to them give the reasons over and over and over. There are 3 common reasons employed by Commissioners that work every time.
The three most common reasons to rush passage of Agenda items are:
1) The County is up against a deadline and chaos will ensue if the Commission doesn’t hurry and pass the item.
This reason was given twice at the October Commission meeting. When I inquired into the age of the equipment that the Commission was being asked to approve, Commission Andy Allen stated that the software reference in the resolution may be about to expire. He gave no date or supporting information. That worked because it passed 15-4.
The reason was used again to approve $60,000 for a software that will be used for open enrollment for employee benefits. The new software Kronos was suppose to fill this need and was used to rush it through (another example of the Commission allegedly having to rush something through) even though the project is behind schedule. Instead of informing the Commission on the delay, the Commission was asked to approve $60,000 as a one year “stop gap” measure for open enrollment since Kronos will be used next year.
The new HR Director told me that the former HR Director handled this, which means that it was done prior to September when the new HR Director took over. One would logically ask how the previous HR Director knew in advance that there was a need to seek software from our benefits advisor. Someone knew that Kronos was not going be implemented in time and sought this software, but never mind that important detail. The Commission just needed to pass it or chaos would ensue. This worked because it passed 16-3.
Bottom line: Office holders and Department heads leave the Commission in the dark and the Commission rubber stamps what they want.
2) This isn’t property tax or local tax money
This reason was given by Commission Steve Samples to pass the technology request from Circuit Court Clerk Tom Hatcher because the money came from Court costs. This works every time because it passed 15-4.
Bottom line: Your money is spent without due diligence.
3) The federal or State government says we have to do this
This reason was employed twice at the October Commission meeting. Commissioner Andy Allen muddied the water when he told Commissioners that the FCC won’t allow us to turn down tower applications. No federal law was given and no examples were given as to what circumstances the County allegedly has to approve towers. He said that an attorney told this to the BZA. When I asked if there was an attorney opinion, Chairman Moon cut me off and no information was obtained. This worked because the Commission passed the resolution 11-8.
This reason was also given as an excuse to not have any oversight on reconstruction work on the Childrens Home. I asked for the federal law that said that the Drug Fund couldn’t be used for renovations. Guidelines were provided rather than the actual federal law. That worked because my amendment to require approval for spending over $1,000 failed 10-9 (11 votes are required).
Bottom line: It’s easier to blame something on federal or State governments than it is to actually do your own research.
Solution: In the interest of time, it would be simpler for the Commission to record these 3 reasons and play them at the start of each Agenda item because they always work and the Commission could adjourn quicker. Due diligence takes a back seat to these 3 reasons. On the flip side, perhaps I should start using them since they work every time. 😉