Another day, another damned bonus



People in the United States are generally pretty mad — make that mad as hell — at those in charge of running things. That applies across the board, from right-wing Tea Partiers angry at the government and corporate bailouts, to progressives seething over corporate criminality and Obama’s failure so far to grow a pair. That widespread anger is a simple, undeniable fact that you would think corporate bigwigs, and politicians in particular, since they’re more vulnerable to public opinion, would be aware, and wary, of. As far as local government officials are concerned, however, public opinion either doesn’t mean squat, or they’re oblivious to it.

Yes, I’m talking again about bonuses for government bigwigs. First, County Manager Harry “See No Evil” Jones gets a $38K bonus on the heels of cutting county jobs and denying the rest of his serfs raises; the DSS scandals he utterly mismanaged; and deservedly bad publicity surrounding Jones’ attempt to silence a critic by forwarding the man’s e-mail to his corporate boss. Then, City Council got in on the act, giving City Manager Curt Walton a $16K bonus during a tough year when city employees aren’t getting raises or merit-based bonuses. And now, ta-daa, in their coup de grace, Council last night voted to give City Attorney Mac McCarley a $15K bonus. Public anger over Walton’s raise had some effect on Council, but McCarley’s bonus still passed, 7-5 (the vote for Walton’s bonus was 10-2)

My question is this: How can citizens make it any plainer that they’re fed up with bigshots walking away with everything (and that includes finance industry honchos/crooks and local public “servants”) while the "little guy" suffers? What’s it going to take? Pitchforks and torches? Townhall-style screaming matches? Come on, Council and Commissioners — all of you, Democrats and Republicans — GET A CLUE! Otherwise, I’m willing to bet whatever you’d like that most of you will be gone come the next election.

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