To start off this New Year, I admit that I missed some very thrifty actions taken by elected officials in 2011.
Though I often commented on California legislators, regrettably, I failed to mention their frugality. Last May, they unequivocally said, “No” to Senate Bill 18, which would have cost $200,000 for enforcement of the legislation’s gift ban.
These eminent elected officials would doubtless like to have SB-18’s restriction on lobbyists and special interests plying them with free tickets to sporting events, rock concerts, and other expensive entertainment venues, but were unwilling to place the high cost of policing their behavior onto the backs of taxpayers.
Nor are politicians always careless with tax dollars. In Washington, D.C., Council Chairman Kwame Brown gets the city’s money’s worth.
He had the city order him a Lincoln Navigator, loaded with a DVD entertainment system, power moon-roof and polished aluminum wheels. But, when the vehicle and its $1,900 a month lease arrived, the interior was gray — not black as requested. Brown wouldn’t stand for being shortchanged. So, a new SUV was ordered, with both exterior and interior black. It was driven from Michigan to Washington for an extra $1,500.
The city was stuck paying two luxury vehicle leases, but it’s the principle that counts. Chairman Brown informed the Washington Post that dark interiors hold their value better.
This year, let’s acknowledge the good elected officials do and not just harp on the bad. After all, nobody’s perfect.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.