• Arne Mortensen

The public can show and comment but our minds are made up...

The last Tuesday morning commissioners meeting once again illustrated just how wrong the process is.

For starters, there were 21 people in the gallery, 7 of whom were private citizens. The rest were county employees or people with direct financial interests in the outcome of votes.

The idea of the Tuesday meetings is to present to the public issues of substance, presumably for public comment, before a vote is taken. Presumably if a comment is made some further work is required. That the intended vote is altered seems to be rare … at least I have not seen the vote change in response to public comment.

Today I spoke against a minor grant to be used to contract someone to train some city or school employees in Social Norms. “Social Norms” in the Soviet Union were handled by indoctrination camps. Here we are more polite, but the idea is the same: government does not like the way the people look at things, so government is determined to explain the correct way to think or behave. This is stuff that would make Pravda envious. We should not tolerate it.

After I spoke, one other person spoke in favor of the program with the usual hand-wringing about how we need to get people away from “substance abuse disorder,” SUD, a new acronym for you. Then the vote took place and the motion passed unanimously.

As usual, the vote to spend the money had no metrics involved. They have no idea how effective the program is … but they are certain it is worth your money. And, of course, they reminded us that the bulk of the money was free because it came from a grant from Washington State.

Disheartening …

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