There is some hope at the local level, which is why reporters are some important in highlighting waste that we taxpayers can relate to. A classic example is the practice of the Orange County Sheriff Deputies bilking Orange County 30 minutes it takes to don their uniform and gear and the 28 minutes it takes to doff it. Ignoring the dumb question of why it takes so long--these deputies are not Navy Seals gearing up to go on a deadly combat mission or astronauts slowly suiting up for a space mission, why should they be paid at all? Probably because their union sues at the drop of the hat any attempt to curtail funds going to their members. No one of us would ever begrudge salaries paid to those putting their lives on the line to protect us, but getting dressed? Cannot be justified.
Commend all readers wherever located to find out if their newspaper has a Watchdog on its news staff, like the Orange County Register and if not, complain vociferously over its absence. Reading the OC Register article on February 14, 2014 evoked the following muse comments. Worse come to worse our preening deputies could emulate the firemen responding to a fire and gear up in less that a minute--they can always have a comb in their pocket to tidy up their hair.
Don Slowly, Doff Slowly Bill Hard
Sadly, in the case of the Sheriff’s Office, when you give a deputy a badge and a gunHold on to your taxpayer wallets for it is clear the greed has just begun
If deputies were making a few dollars more than minimum wage
Billing for dressing, tying shoes or putting on a gun would cause no rage
But starting at over 60k a year, paying for an hour of donning and doffing is a practice we taxpayers should repeal
In a rational world where accountability rules, it can only be described as surreal
Imagine if we mortals tried to bill our boss for suiting up to appear at work
We would be fired in a moment, being viewed as being completely berserk
If only this were Wisconsin where public union money, reduced, finds the political process harder to corrupt,
We might be able to bring this gouging of our wallets to a quick end, so very abrupt.
With a good number of deputies making over 100k a year
Laughing all the way to the bank, not a pang of remorse, not even a tear
If our Board had any backbone, which is hard to have when present lots of campaign money, lots of guns
A few simple suggestions on what to do to save our fleeced taxpayers must be done
First, time to give most of the deputies in the jails their pink slips
Replace with lower paid private guards though hard to do given their union’s funding grip
Second, remove them as bailiffs in most courtrooms except for trials of violent crimes
A few deputies in the holding cells below could quickly respond to a problem in real time.
Third, immediately scrap the defined benefit pensions for all new hires with 401ks
With some matching similar to private firms based on what into it deputies pay
Lastly, although this may be a dream, reserve or limit time in jail for those of violent crimes
The rest with probation or electronic bracelets their movements and freedoms to confine
If not, then just this little money saving step that would cut down on this waste we spend
Their pay starts when in the station in uniform ready for duty they check in and stops on shift end
We taxpayer’s wallets are not the proverbial cookies eyed by a greedy mouse
We want to retain more funds to spend on our own needs like rent or mortgage payments on a house.
Watchdogs to protect us are needed and may be the most feared of our canine friends
But we also need the two legged ones growling over waste in what the government spends.
© February 19, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet