All the world’s a stage, And all the leaders merely players; AND WE ARE ALL BEING PLAYED!
This meeting was over 5 hours so I am going reduce that to one somewhat enlightening not-too-incredibly long to read blog post...or that is my goal.
The 1st item talked about today was not on the agenda.
Did you know that Nationwide Insurance is the Deferred Compensation Partner for Shelby County Employees? They have been for over 30 years. Boring information so far...Apparently, the Mayor, all by himself, can change insurance partners if he so deems it without a vote from the commission. Usually anything financial happening with the county has to be voted up or down by the commission but because it's the employees that actually pay for it and not the county, this rule does not apply.
Nationwide had 2 representatives there to plead for them to remain with them. They spoke about the million they have invested in Shelby County last year. Is that like pay to play? Interesting points to me are ....
- There are over 3,064 counties in the U.S. and Nationwide has the contract with 95% of them.
- Nationwide was outbid by Prudential
- The mayor has sole control over who gets chosen for the contract. Shouldn't there be others involved with this decision?
- Nationwide has 1500 employees dedicated for just Shelby County employees so you can see why this is a big deal to them.
The county has a surplus this year of 6 million dollars and they want to give it back to you. HAHAHAHA! No they don't . They want to spend it and grow the government because it's just not big enough. Now, you might be thinking to yourself "We have a surplus of millions of dollars? Holy Hades! How did that happen"? And you would be justified in having those thoughts.
So let me explain this in terms that even Mayor (I'm not the Republican you think I am) Luttrell could understand. Budget gimmicks do not a surplus make. I don't believe in unicorns and I don't believe you magically found 6 millions dollars that is actually there and if you did, why would you not want to give that back to the already overtaxed citizens of Shelby County?
Remember that the Mayor wants to do this ...
Why would the Shelby County Sheriffs office eliminate 3 detective positions & hire EX term limited commissioner Sidney Chism???
And this magically found 6 million will help do that instead of returning the hard-earned money to the people that earned it. We are going to reduce the number of detectives to hire someone who has been living off the government teat his entire life. That makes perfect sense...to a hyena who lives off the productivity of others...but I digress.
The budget as is ...failed. Commissioners Roland and Shafer wanted to defer this back to committee because no one really understood what's in it with all the changes being made. Commissioner Shafer wanted the tax rate to reflect the fact that we had a surplus...by ONE CENT! But alas it was not to be because when Commissioners like to play with our money like they are playing Monopoly. They can't hire the infamous cowboy hat wearing tax payer parasite if they don't pass the imaginary balanced budget with newly found money that's actually not there. And to think...these people are for real!
Darth Basar voted with the democrats on the budget. His brilliant dark side thought he would bring this item back up for reconsideration because only someone on the prevailing side can bring it back up. Only Basar got his yes vote confused with the prevailing side. It was the No's that won silly Sith lord leader. Oh well, he tried.
Darth Basar continued venting that someone on the prevailing side should reconsider and bring this back and you know ...show some leadership...like him. Hmmmm. Is leadership only leadership when voting the way Darth Basar wants you to vote? Apparently Basar takes his nickname seriously and perhaps he thinks he represents the Sith Empire and not the Republic for which WE stand.
They tried to pass a continuation budget which would spend only what's in the budget now and not the magical unicorn money...that failed too.
Mayor Luttrell spoke about the fact that the commission has had his budget since last March and did not understand why the commission couldn't reconsider his budget since he worked so hard to come up with the funny money. Oh wow, I heard Luttrell actually comment that this is projected funny money since it's for the next year. Holy Mackerel Robin!!! Can we now dispense with the idea that there is a 6 million surplus? No, he did't say funny money but that's what it is right?
If you go to these meetings a lot, you will see a pattern with Darth Basar. When he doesn't get his way, he keeps on whinin and tryin. He decided he wanted to change his vote on the budget which would then give him the ability to bring the budget back up to be reconsidered. Supposedly since his vote change would not affect the outcome of the vote, it's allowed in the rules. Confusing I know, but bear with me.
At one point things got so heated that Chairman Ford, Roland, and Shafer walked out because the commission was not wanting to follow the rules. This can get complicated but it boils down to this. There are decisions made by the chair that can be overruled but there are specific permanent rules that are ...what shall we call them? PERMANENT! Since Darth Basar couldn't get the commission to change his vote so he could bring back the budget, he thought he would nominate Commissioner Bailey as chairman while Ford was not on the floor. Ford came back before the vote was done and Bailey had to remove himself and it was noted that there was no need to have this vote since the chair was back.
They eventually did vote to overrule the chairman and then they brought back up the vote again. Heidi aptly remarked that if you can overrule the rules at any time, what's the point in having any rules and she would be right. You can't bring back up a resolution that failed for 60 days unless it's significantly changed so then leaders started brainstorming ways to change significantly it so they could bring it back u?
For some reason. this budget is personal to both Commissioner Bailey and Commissioner Basar who were working hard to pull rabbits out of the budgetary hat while colluding in what appeared to be an obvious breach of the Sunshine Law. Unless of course we are supposed to believe they were discussing the weather.
Next Basar started colluding with Commissioner Van Turner in another obvious breach of the Sunshine Law. Then Luttrell started colluding with Basar and Van Turner. Speaking of the rules, why have a Sunshine Law if you are not going to abide by it? They were obviously trying to figure out how to get their budget passed. Heidi even called them out and said to the chairman that she thought we needed to be doing this on the record at which point Chairman Ford called out the gentlemen and said "come on, we're breaking the rules and asked them to separate please after hitting his gavel about 3 times" and they still continued to collude...or talk about the weather. He hit the gavel again 3 times at which time I guess they had their game plan together and so they dispersed.
WOW! Rules are for the little people.
Then a 10 minute break was called. OMG! Really??? Is this so they could talk about the weather while figuring out how they could get their funny money budget passed today? You learn so much about your leaders at these meetings. Like how they don't follow the rules.
After much a do and some Sunshine Law defiance, the budget was passed. Congratulation Darth Basar! You make a great leader.....for the Sith Empire.
Footage of the meeting is below if you need more torture...