Public Input

     You know what the problem with democracy is?
     Too much democracy.
     It’s bad enough that they let people we disagree with talk (especially if they’re on TV), but governments, in this era of fiscal crisis, could save an enormous amount of money if only they’d stop listening to people.
     Well, not actually listening, but letting people talk to them so that they can be ignored.
     How do I know this?
     As a property owner I have received the following in the mail:
      NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
     COUNTY SANITATION DISTRICT NO. 3 OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY REGARDING A PROPOSED SEWER SERVICE CHARGE RATE INCREASE TO THE OWNER OF RECORD OF….
     This was followed by two legal-sized pages of typing and a chart.
     It looked like it might be important. It looked like my input as a knowledgeable property owner could make a difference. It looked like I might need to bone up on my sewer knowledge.
     There was going to be a public hearing next month. Before that I could submit written comments and I could go to two different information meetings. There is also a “virtual presentation of the workshop” on the Internet at www.lacsd.org/JOSrates.
     Then I read the thing.
     It turns out that I am currently paying $12.33 per month or $148 per year for wastewater discharge. If the proposed gradual annual rate increases are approved, I’ll be paying $12.83 per month or $154 per year by 2013.
     The outrage!
     Picture the angry hordes outside the Sanitation District office demanding the head of whomever is responsible for this. Picture the raucous scene inside the hearing room as witness after witness weighs in on the hardships this could create.
     In 2013, I might have to forgo two lattes!
     Two! Tall ones at that!
     Haven’t I suffered enough?
     How can I stay awake to study up for this hearing without those lattes?
     And then a question occurred to me: how can Starbucks stay in business and prosper while raising prices while governments are going broke and refusing to talk to teachers?
     Could it be because Starbucks doesn’t spend money on hearings and workshops or let people vote on prices?
     And yet somehow, miraculously, people pay those steadily increasing tasty coffee prices anyway.
     Clearly, the problem is public input.
     So I urge my fellow property owners to attend the upcoming Sanitation District hearing and demand that the hearing not take place.
     I’d go myself, but I think I’m going to be busy that day….
     
     NAMES. I continue to be fascinated by law firm names.
     I spotted one on a lawsuit the other day called Ford Harrison.
     Why oh why did they not call themselves Harrison Ford? Don’t these people know anything about generating business?
     You need name recognition.
     And then there was this one (a real firm name): Ardent Law Group.
     I’m picturing young, ardent suers – or suit-ers.
     Heh, heh.
     I hope those guys are handsome.

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