Posted by Wayne Martin, a resident of the Fairmeadow neighborhood, on Dec 5, 2012 at 12:55 pm
There was a piece in this morning’s Daily News where SCC Executive, Jeff Smith, claimed: “There is clearly a power differential—the feeling that people don’t want to challenge Board Members” Smith also said: “There has been reluctance to point out things that don’t make sense, and they haven’t felt comfortable bouncing that up the chain of command”.
While this overview of what happened in this case may be accurate—it opens the door to the charge that there is/has been a massive failure in SCC Government—if the County Executive is explaining that under his stewardship (and presumably that of his predecessors), that there has not been any sense of “ethics”, “morality” .. or even just “doing the right thing” created by the management structure of the SCC government.
It’s hard not to end up wit a simple take-away from County Executive Smith’s excuses for his people that there really isn’t the same kind of ethical/moral structure in the SCC government organization that one might expect in the private sector, or the Military. Nor is there any sense of “check-and-balance” in place here. Smith seems to be saying that his people don’t know what to do, or when to do it—at least when it comes to possible mismanagement of financial affairs by elected officials. (And it’s doubtful that Smith will be doing much to rectify this situation, from his feeble excuses—like provide training in ethics in the workplace—or push for a code of ethics up and down the chain-of-command within the County Government.)
One possible solution would be to put all of the credit card expenditures on-line, so that the public can see what people like Shirakawa are charging to their public accounts for themselves, rather than reading about these outrages months after the fact. For the most part, the public has no idea on what government officials are spending its money.
No wonder every where you look in California government—things are broken, with few showing any sense of awareness of how broken things really are!