Friday, September 25, 2009

When Legislators Write Us On Our Dime

Its All About Them, Seldom About Us

This blogger received the most recent District Report (timed for release just prior to the upcoming election) from his Nassau County Legislator. A Report which, as we all know, but our legislators apparently forget (or is it that they just don't care?), is paid for with taxpayer dollars.

The entire first page, of this four page, full color newsletter, is little more than a rant against the folks who, figuratively, sit across the aisle.

"Their budget is flawed. We voted against it." "The Assessment is broken. They call it 'fair and accurate.'" "The county is borrowing tens of millions of dollars." "They spend too many hours considering trivial laws (e.g., a law to ban the sale of candy cigarettes)."

Forget, for the moment, that the County's finances, as rough a road as is traveled upon in these difficult economic times, is far better than it was when those who now complain brought Nassau to the brink of fiscal ruin.

Never mind that the Assessment process was "broken" when you had it under your watch, that a Court, not the opposition, ordered the reassessment, and it was, at the outset, your team, then in the majority, that had the ball to carry.

And talk about trivialities. Is parental consent to get a little rose tattoo on the ankle any more trivial -- or less significant, depending on point of view -- than is banning candy cigarettes?

Point is, nowhere in the missive that is the District Report -- this rude, petty, finger-pointing at "the other guy," self-aggrandizing rag -- is there any suggestion of a viable alternative course, or, for that matter, anything whatsoever signifying a record of accomplishment by the legislator who sent it.

Accomplishments? You want accomplishments? Isn't berating the majority, followed by two pages of glossy photos of our County Legislator attending street fairs, holding a shovel at a groundbreaking, or denouncing the State MTA tax, "accomplishment?"

Sorry, but showing up (for a photo op) at a pancake breakfast or a pasta dinner is not a legislative coup (use of the word not intended to conjure up flashbacks of what our State Senators "accomplished" earlier this year).

Having your name appear under your picture in the local papers, week after week after week, is not an accomplishment.

And wasting hard-earned tax dollars on what amounts to campaign literature turned hate mail, to rant about your fellow legislators and the other party, is certainly not accomplishment.

As this blogger's mother often said, "If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything." [Not that I ever listened. Then again, I am not an elected official, and no tax dollars were used to publish and disseminate this rant].

Perhaps that line should be, "If you haven't actually done anything positive yourself, keep the malcontent in check, and stop using public money as part of your re-election campaign war chest."

More aptly, it is better for legislators to keep their mouths shut, and appear to have done little to improve the quality of life in our community, than to open them, and remove all doubt!

It is evident that our legislators just don't get it. The question is, "When will we?"

No comments:

Post a Comment