Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Why Some Numbers don't Matter

I admit it.  I could not come up with a good title for this post so I typed in the first thing that came to mind that was not politically incorrect.  Truth be told, many numbers do matter, just not the ones many folks brag about.  The important numbers for local communities are the ones in  their audit, so let me proceed with my post.

Last night I sat home and watched the West Bloomfield Township Board meeting on television.  Honestly, I could not bring myself to drive one mile to sit there in person.  Besides, they do not allow shouting at the meetings.  While eye rolls and teeth grinding is probably permissible, drinking is not.  And though I wasn't drinking at home, you just never know what might compel one to 'need a drink' at one of their meetings.

In my 20+ years on the Board, I spent a lot of time with eye rolls and teeth-grinding.  One of the items that irritated me the most was when a resident got up and proclaimed that 'I have lived in West Bloomfield for over - fill in any number- years.'  Really?  Am I supposed to be impressed by this?  Does someone who has lived here for 40 years as opposed to 20 years have more importance when they speak?  Besides, it's not like a gaggle of non-residents are showing up to speak on local issues, so once you tell me your address, I know you are a resident, be it last week or last century.

The last time I spoke at a Board meeting I followed a woman who did just that.  When it was my turn I said that I would not bore them with how long I had been a resident (41 years) - hint-hint to others.

Last night this nonsense elevated to a whole new level.  My successor in office, who will never win any awards or accolades for her non-accomplishments, was on the hot-seat again.  Or still.  I will not bore you with the details.  Suffice it to say that the audit is approaching and the finance records are, apparently, a mess.

Anyway, she managed to drag out a few of her friends who got up and regaled the board with what a nice person she is, how she was raised here, and raises her family here and on and on.  They are sure she is doing a good job though I doubt any of them have ever read any statutes describing her duties.

Then I found I had to hit the 'mute' button before I threw something at the TV.  One woman got up and said she had known the Treasurer since she was five years old.  She voted for her.  Her whole family voted for her. 

Really?  How does knowing someone for most of their life and thinking they are a great person equate to knowing that they are performing their duties?

No wonder one major City here in Michigan is in bankruptcy court.  I am sure the voters there thought they were electing great folks to office, right up until they found out they were crooks, and even then some folks were still supporting them and saying they were railroaded.

Wake up America.  Incompetence is coming to a town near you and it could even be in the form of your own child, relative, friend, or neighbor.  Being 'nice' is not the same as being 'competent'.

There are many folks who have called me a bitch.  But not one of them ever said I did not know what I was doing.

The numbers that matter are the financial ones, not longevity.  Screw up the financials and it will eventually hit you in the pocketbook.  And then, where will 'nice' get you?

Thank you for letting me vent.  You are all so nice.  Maybe I will vote for you someday.


  1. Laughing so hard right now. holy cow I've seen this so much. I live in a small town too and we have an incompetent auditor whom everyone votes for becasue of 'niceness' never mind that he's lazy and glutinous. Wow, no I'm getting all rattled up. I better step away from the computer, haha :)

  2. Never been something I was involved with, but incompetence in any walk of life is to be deplored and giving someone a vote or a job just because they are nice is totally ridiculous.