Sal Grosso, a retired man in his 80s, moved to Cape Coral, Florida, after a successful career as a troubleshooter for New York State’s phone network. Since then he has served as troubleshooter for the government of Cape Coral, writing a column, kicking up a fuss.
And boy, does Cape Coral need a troubleshooter! Sal has uncovered a whole network of incompetence and corruption in the water, sewer, and charter school bureaucracies.
After years of trying, he got the state to do an operational audit of the town — which is now under federal investigation.
While preparing a column about him for Townhall.com, I learned about Sal’s methods. He solves problems through a common-sense process he calls “sectionalization.” Start with a problem area, divide it in half. Determine which half holds the problem, focus on it and repeat.
“You keep whittling the problem down until you’ve isolated it,” he says, “to a very manageable size, which enables you to decide on where to look, and what to look for.”
He’s done this with the local water system, the city budget, sewer — you name it.
If you have a knack for problem solving — say, you like puzzles — then why not follow Sal’s example and give your local governments a look? Governments often present huge puzzles. Unravelling the messes that politicians and bureaucrats have made can be very rewarding.
Well, perhaps not so much. But it IS critical in keeping government accountable.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.