El Paso County Peter Principle sadists

COLORADO SPRINGS- I attended a County Commission meeting Thursday morning and caught such a whiff of bureaucratic decay that I don’t have any faith that our local government works at all.

I came in as the County Treasurer was addressing a shortfall in income. According to her, the problem was owed to sales tax, particularly the use tax component, which the County simply wasn’t collecting, to the extent of the funds it was actually due. I’ve bored you already with an irrelevant over-simplification, but this woman was able to reiterate this non-specific summary for ten minutes. Use tax, blah blah, use tax blah blah. I thought it was a deliberate filibuster. She spoke in a kindly, completely perplexed tone, but she went on and on and on. She explained: you wouldn’t know it from the records, and I know the figures seem to indicate otherwise, and there’s no way of calculating exactly, but there it is, the use tax, etc, etc.

No sooner had she finished, and we couldn’t believe she had, believe me, but that the commissioner who next spoke, Sally Clark, had this response, I kid you not, and I paraphrase: “I just don’t understand how such a thing could be. Can you please explain this to me again?” Which prompted an interminable re-reiteration, as if the commissioner had ascertained the squirming of the audience and goaded the idiotic speaker for her further amusement. No really, someone, somewhere must have better things to do.

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