Thursday, November 30, 2006

Trickle Down Theory

I am confused. Not an unusual place for me to be these days. And angry. Ditto.

First the confusion. The headline in this morning's Spokesman Review read "Explicit e-mails spark outcry". It tells of how sexually explicit e-mails have been making the rounds of the Prosecutor's office and Sheriff's Department. County computers were used for these exchanges.

Aside from the fact our esteemed prosecutor has been in hot water over e-mail use before and apparently has yet to learn a lesson, how could this happen? Does the County not have an IT department? Bear in mind this is the same county that once banned Hucklerries blog from county computers! For what? Being guilty of critical commentary.

One would think after watching the fall of Spokane Mayor Jim West for similar indiscretions with city computers, one would know better. It cost him his job, his standing in the community and ultimately his health and his life. True, the last is conjecture but I cannot help believe the stress of that episode lessened his ability to fight the cancer that was recurring when the story broke.

Here we sit not fifty miles away with our elected officials and those they've hired going merrily on their way looking at child porn, bestiality and oral sex.

We are irritated over our reputation for harboring white supremists, loudly claiming they are long gone. We know that's wishful thinking. Now this. What about these pillars of our community?

I'm embarrassed beyond description that occurrences such as these seem to happen over and over. And angry. Even worse, this isn't happening among the low level employees beneath management radar. It starts at the top and trickles down.

Where are the commissioners on this? Maybe it's time they get an infusion of backbone and oversee these departments. Maybe it's time to insist the prosecutor and sheriff use the county Human Resources Department instead of having their own. It's a costly redundancy. Remove the funding from their budgets. And oversee who they hire.

Don't worry so much about the skinheads. Worry about the lunkheads - those in office, those who work with them and those who keep on electing them.


Word Tosser said...

these are suppose to be people of trust. Who are suppose to be our fighting guard against the very thing they are doing themselves. Does this mean do as I say and not as I do?

Bill McCrory said...

Great post!

Many of our local government officials in Kootenai County and Coeur d'Alene are "home growns," born and raised here. That's not inherently bad except if and when geographic and cultural isolation results in blinders being put on. The blinders manifest themselves as denial. "I've lived here all my life. I know what's best for this community. Nothing like that could ever happen here." What is happening, though, is that people are moving into this area who have experienced both good and bad government in the parts of the nation they came from. We can tell the difference. Maybe more importantly, we can see here the signs of complacency, ignorance, indifference, and potentially, corruption. Yet when we try to discuss these signs with local government officials, we're met with polite (and sometimes not so polite) dismissal.