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Tax Money At Work
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As I've posted earlier, the school across the street is having its play yard repaved to the tune of $2 million (more, actually, I had to close my eyes after I saw how many digits there were).

For the first three weeks the construction dragged on, desultory at best. Since school starts tomorrow, there has been an amazing change of pace. Not so amazing, since it was all beautifully choreographed to squeeze out as much money as possible into the pockets of the construction company and its workers (these are not school employees).

You see, after the initial foot dragging, the approaching deadline of school start-up (tomorrow!) has provided the perfect excuse reason to work overtime, and in the case of working on Labor Day (yesterday) being paid double time and a half. The construction must be completed by tomorrow, because children must not be put at risk, by equipment and tools and unpaved dirt.

Maybe I'm just cynical. Maybe there was a good reason for the lack of progress.

Where was the oversight, you ask? Sitting in downtown air-conditioned offices would be my guess. When a person makes a six-figure salary, why would he (or she) put himself into a vehicle and drive 25 or 30 miles to a construction site of a small school, in the heat and dust to check progress personally?

Why not? I'll tell you why not. There are no press conferences, no accolades, no public view. Holding public office is all about looking good. If the job gets done and done well, that's fine, but even then it's in the service of looking good. And looking good gets one promoted. It's the media age.

Driving out to a small school to check on yard paving doesn't burnish the image, so it doesn't get done. Positive reports filed by constructon chief suffice to present a positive image to the Board of Education. And of course the construction chief wants to look good, too....

Bah, humbug.

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