Aug 3, 2010

Passing the Buck

Philip R. Klein invokes his suspect sources in this article on the SET Political Review:
Sources on the 4th floor tell the Review that someone on the outside suggested to Ron Walker to take the heat off commissioners to simply go to each department head - being every and all department heads and simply cut the budget by 5%. Leaving the political damage to the department heads. Effectively dumping the cut backs and layoffs to each department head.
Compare Philip's verbiage with that of KBTV Channel 4 (emphasis is mine):
Jefferson County's budget crisis is far from over.
Only one media outlet called this a budget crisis, and Philip makes two (emphasis is again mine):
It is not going to work. So watch for act 6 to suggest a tax increase because of the "crisis." As they have all said no way - as we have told you from day one - we anticipate a combination of fake numbers (we were right), cut backs in departments that are owed political paybacks (we were right), and now the jury is out on the tax increase.
Philip or KBTV have never provided any evidence whatsoever that Jefferson County officials committed felonious fraud with "fake numbers."  Nor has he explained how these purported "political paybacks" affect the Jefferson County 2010-2011 budget.

This isn't objective journalism, it's inflammatory opinion, buttressed by Philip's profligate claim last week that Jefferson County was bankrupt. See the video here, where a simple budget deficit became a budget crisis. Whether Commissioners will raise taxes remains to be seen. Compare with this account by the Beaumont Enterprise:
One county official and several employees stepped forward Monday with vows to forfeit part of their paychecks to help erase the Jefferson County budget deficit.

Commissioners and county department heads so far have been able to cut $9.4 million from the proposed 2010-2011 budget, putting department requests at $109 million. Commissioners still need to tighten county coffers by about $2 million.
According to The Examiner:
  • Patrick Swain: "But the bottom line is there is no support for increasing taxes."
  • Commissioner Bo Alfred: "That option, raising taxes, is not on the table for me."
  • Commissioner Eddie Arnold: "I am not considering a tax increase."
  • Commissioner Shane Sinegal: "With me, [raising taxes] is definitely off the table."
Occam's razor suggests that Klein is an idiot, but we'll revisit his claims in a few weeks.  He recycled this chestnut: 
Isn't this fun! Watching people who have NEVER EVER run a business, met a payroll, understand anything about running a company - waste your tax dollars and tell us the taxpayers what they are doing is in our best interests? And spend OPM?
Not true. As just one example, Commissioner Eddie Arnold retired after 33 years with SBC. As Regional Manager, he routinely handled budgets and operations for a private utility that employed hundreds of people. This is distinctly different than handling burgers for a few years before running six fast food restaurants into real bankruptcy.

Furthermore, most business people have little experience in operating within the public sector. Fiscal management of government resources includes constraints such as increased oversight, legal restrictions, and rampant rumors from extremist bloggers with personal agendas.

Cutting nine Deputy Constables is an emotional issue. Undoubtedly, they did valuable work as certified peace officers that isn't quantified in Jefferson County's bottom line.  But objectively examining the facts provides perspective; from The Examiner:
But records from the County Clerk's Office show the workload for constables in Jefferson County has been spiraling downward for years, but the budgets for those departments went up.
Two examples are included here:
In Pct. 2 and Pct. 6, the number of civil citations being served since 2003 dropped from 111 and 150 per deputy to 44 and 46 per deputy per month. 

Special Note:

While Philip's glass is half-empty, I urge all readers to vote for Ann Huey's short film in the Texas Monthly film contest.  The film's title: Beaumont Stinks.

As a Beaumont native, Ann has a different perspective on Southeast Texas than, say for example, a carpetbagger from New Jersey who makes his living here but bemoans living here.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

prk is so occupy-eyed with reader mail writing and answering his own questions with his own response he forgets to write his daily posting

public figure number one, wow
prk has been harassing oliva newton john for 5 plus years not at her request nor a response from her with the find patrick crap he invented to try to draw attention to himself so he could write a book
and go on trips

now he claims someone crawfished on payment for his literary work

he also denies harassing patricks ex wife after she filed police report and complaint

prk also plans a speaking tour
prk also plans to visit buffet
is he invited or uninvited visitor

maybe time to start a new gadfly or jacobs house fundraiser