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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The POP Insurance Policy

We all have insurance – or rather, all of us that are here legally that is. Insurance is seemingly at times a necessary evil. From factors out of our control to the failings of human nature we seek through insurance to mitigate our exposure by simply paying someone else to take on part of the risk for us.

If life was perfect and the universe did not exist through chaos, confusion or randomness we would not need insurance. And in more practical terms, if people did their jobs correctly and if people behaved honestly for the most part we would not need insurance.

There are similar problems with government. They are clearly not perfect, do exist through chaos, confusion and randomness, are unduly influenced and make too many mistakes. So what is one to do when dealing with governments?

Well, we create more laws that at times fuels the chaos, confusion, randomness, influence and mistakes. And at times laws are enacted that stems the tide. If governments would only do what they were elected to do.

Many – yes, many as evidenced by the number of petitions signed – have stated that the Marco Island city council has not done its job when it came to their sworn oath as to the city manager. Since the city council – in near unanimity – ignored the cries of many citizens, these same people took out an insurance policy.

Just like we take out insurance policies against bad storms, and bad neighbors, and bad drivers, citizens have taken out a policy against bad government.

Coming up for consideration in the next council meeting is a new insurance policy – the POP referendum.

This insurance policy simply states that if the city council refuses to act responsibly by managing, controlling, supervising and dictating the will of the people to the city manager, then the citizens will have an opportunity to make such a determination. And if that determination affirms bad government, then the city manager is out.

The criticism of the POP insurance policy has been repeated ad nausea by the Hate Slate, the city apparatchiks, and the usual suspects. Since we’ve all heard them before, no need repeating them here – except one.

Our particular favorite is the one that goes something like this: if the POP insurance goes on the books, no “respectable” “professional” “experienced” “qualified” city manager, or one that belongs to the International City/County Management Association (“ICMA”) will take the city manager job on Marco Island. Ipso facto, we will have to hire the next city manager from a pool of dishonest unprofessional inexperienced nincompoops that don’t belong to some self-aggrandizing clique – and presumably don’t want the $150,000 a year position in soon-to-be-once-again paradise.

If this is true, then why did the city council put us in this unenviable position?

Because this city council thinks that the present city manger has done a great job – that’s why! Yes, that’s right – regardless of the threats, and intimidation, and violation of civil rights, and terms of contracts that go un-enforced, and asbestos dumping, and disruption and contractors that are behind schedule and the ever disappearing $30million - $60million reserves, our esteemed elected officials purport that the city manager has done such a superb performance that the present inhabitant of the position warrants a … bonus!

This brings us back to the insurance policy.

Throughout the history of this great country there has been those that threaten doom and gloom when power is bestowed or restored to the people. Such is the case here with threats that only Mr. Magoos and the Three Stooges types that are not members of the ICMA will apply for the city manager position if the POP insurance policy is instituted.

(That’s ok – Mr. Magoo was honorable, the Three Stooges were well intentioned, and not being part of an club that heralds a code of ethics that it does not enforce is a bonus.)

Throughout the history of this great country, power in the hands of the people rarely (if ever) leads to the predicted apocalypse. Why direct democracy is repeatedly questioned when it has such a stellar track record is truly unfathomable.

So, drive safely. But if you regrettably get into an accident because of some irresponsible driver, then call your insurance company – it’s called prudence.

So, vote intelligently. But if you regrettably get councilpersons that flip-flop on issues or compromise their oath, then invoke your POP policy – it’s called democracy.

But that would be in America – not here on Marco Island.

In yet another farcical denigration of its citizens, the city has rejected the POP petition on the grounds – and this is a quote – “Litzan said the referendum’s language is misleading because it asks the simple question of whether voters approve of the city manager’s performance, but excludes information about the consequences of a ‘NO’ vote.

Excuse us? Did the city’s sham Septic Tank Replacement Program Bond/Loan Referendum of June 26, 207 detail the consequences of a ‘NO’ vote? No, it did not.

So the city’s referendum got on the ballot without spelling out the consequences of a ‘NO’ vote, but yet they use that pretext to reject the POP petition.

And do you see why we need insurance to guard us from governments like the one now on Marco Island?


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