Think for a moment about all the nasty things that you wish would go away: junk mail, spam, phone solicitors, the flu, hemorrhoids. The list is as long as the pain you endure from the most pressing daily malady. If that weren’t enough, out of remission comes the unspeakable displeasure rising like acid reflux…that tired and baseless argument for revising the County Charter that would put an appointed bureaucrat in charge of all operations.
Out of nowhere, Kate Marquez, an apparently bored busybody, drafted a proposal for a County Charter that does just that. She got 30 people to attend a meeting and for some reason, the Herald and News jumped on the bandwagon like a horny, leg-humping dog, giving the gathering front page coverage and hosting document distribution for Marquez. One can only guess why. The Herald may have been bored with the bevy of assault and drug crimes it routinely covers, or it may see some way to benefit financially from the controversy. There’s no doubt that political maneuvering ultimately leads to advertising revenue in the County’s only newspaper. All the Herald need do is incubate it.
For anyone that favors the Constitution, this issue is like a sore in a political mouth that would heal if lunatics would just stop tonguing it. The Constitution represents the highest attainment of democracy worldwide. It sets forth the crazy notion that those who serve in the high government positions should be selected by the people through a process we call voting. That’s what we currently have in Klamath County. We elect three commissioners that are paid to manage portions of the county government. It’s not perfect–no government is–but it is representative of the will of the people and anyone who doesn’t like the way things are being run can campaign for a different candidate. Nobody can run against an administrator. If our government has become so complicated that only a career administrator can run it, then it is not the leadership that needs to change, it is the system itself. That sort of simplification can also be accomplished through who we elect to office at all levels. We absolutely don’t need and should not desire for government to be further removed from public accountability, as is the case with the City of Klamath Falls.
This argument would fall on its nose, or the other end, if the City of Klamath Falls was a shining example of logic, fairness, and efficiency. The City entity, with its five unpaid council members and a full-time city manager, is so vile, any resident stands to lose IQ points simply from the exercise of pondering how that corrupt, wasteful, incestuous body of circle-jerking bureaucrats could ever be considered the model that is suggested for county governance.
If anything, Klamath residents should be considering a new Charter for the City of Klamath Falls that makes it look more like the County, not the other way around. The one and only hope for salvaging the City of Klamath Falls in the minds of so many disenfranchised residents would be to eliminate the City Manger position in favor of a strong mayor and paid city councilors, which would be amply funded with the surplus generated from eliminating the position. With City government, we have been getting exactly what we’ve paid for: nothing. We end up with incumbents that seem to be working 10 or more hours a week for their ego fix and free health care. If there is no payback for the risk and cost of running for office, why would anyone with a decent mind challenge incumbents? People don’t, and apathy leads to atrophy.
The not-so-shiny example the City of Klamath Falls generates a career administrator that is NOT elected, trained to manipulate the Council in order to retain the position, expand government and who reports to volunteers that are prohibited from any direct involvement in the administration they are elected to keep in check. They receive exactly the information the administration doles out to them and nothing more. Where do you think the power resides in that system? Certainly not with anyone casting a vote. Information is power. Those who control information hold the power.
The City role model is not unlike Communist China. There you have an administrator that holds the title, Paramount Leader. This person is not elected by the people, but appointed by the Politburo, a group of 5 to 9 long-term councilors elected from within the ranks of the Communist Party.
Note to Marquez: if you want to make a difference, change the City government, not the County. Better yet, eliminate the City all together. All it takes is a referendum with 900 signatures. But if you want to keep mucking with the County structure, don’t stop there. Redraft the US Constitution so that we no longer elect the President. In Marquez’s strange world, Congress would appoint the president.
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