“Pull Yourselves Together, Gentlemen” an editorial by By Ethan Van Sice
Those who missed the most recent public meltdown of the Wilcox County Commission also missed a pretty impressive update on Roland Cooper State Park and its success over the past year. I’m afraid I’ll have to extend my apologies to the Smith family for at least another week, as the unraveling of our County leaders and the critical financial mistakes they’ve made will push progress on Bridgeport Road to the back-burner once again.
Our boys found themselves in hot water last week over three (3) mismanaged employees and the salary increases they could easily instill upon themselves–and then just as easily have them removed. Temperatures at this point have boiled to increasing possibilities of a lawsuit taking effect, which is just what our County needs.
Ultimately, the problem seemed to be what it always seems to be, in that not all Commissioners were on the same page about it. And only when such an issue of money falling into the hands of one half of an office who feel they deserve such a increase would finally perk the ears up on the other half who feels that they don’t, are we finally realizing the obvious:
The reason our County is in critical debt, and the reason our economy seems to be failing despite every safety net imaginable, and the reason streets leading to perhaps our only saving grace (Roland Cooper) have literally crumbled beneath our feet, is not because our six elected officials don’t know how to disperse funds throughout the County–it’s because they don’t know how to disperse funds among themselves.
Yet another wasted meeting has led to yet another wasted Work Session, and I hope everyone took notice to the underlying items on the agenda, particular Richard Smith’s excellently POSITIVE dissertation on the invaluable and lucrative resource that naturally pumps money BACK INTO our system through a resource that is 100% natural.
The State Park. The place that easily thrives and continues to generate funds organically through things like photosynthesis and the fertilization of fish eggs.
Whenever longstanding problem of lazily handling a budget used to incentivize the very people in charge of making sure that you, your neighbors, and your family can keep their heads above water finally gets to the point of mass witness, it’s time to make a change. And it needs to happen fast.
After speaking to many of you individually, Commissioners, it’s become obvious to me what should be obvious to you at this juncture. There is no possible way anybody can be on the same page about anything in regards to protocol (in this case, whether or not County workers at the Head of their own department can mitigate pay increases to their subsidaries without voted approval by the Commission) when there are no pages to go by in the first place. Because, apparently, there is no handbook. There is no guide. Absolutely nothing is in place to say whether or not these motions we cast are actually “legal”.
It’s no wonder nobody can agree on what the rules are, and it’s no wonder every single County Commission meeting amounts to nothing more than a pissing contest. With election season clearly upon us and many of you likely to be sitting in the very same seats you sit in now, i’d say it’s time to call a time-out on this game we play twice a month called Let’s See Who’s ‘you-know-what’ is Bigger.
Once the votes have been counted, nobody cares what differences each of you have, because you are now a part of a BODY. How much money you’re going to be making should be an afterthought, subsequent to the major responsibilities you have.