The Times, Are They a’Changin?

The proposed change to the governance of the county entails some complexity , well articulated in this Recorder story. 

As the story makes clear, there will be shift of power and control with the proposed changes. And as Charlie Kraebel rightly points out, once you have change that effects the existing order of things, the floodgates to misinformation and lies open and the torrent begins. (Speaking of lies, I find it ironic to see Charlie’s article adjacent to Cal Thomas, whose grasp of truth approximates Keith Richard’s grasp of moderation)

I’m not sure how to read the tea leaves but I would argue that , statistically speaking, the odds lean against a change for the following reasons:

1) A County Executive takes hard dollar power (remember this a $93M plus budget)  and its political power away from the existing Supervisors

2) A County Executive usurps executive power away from the existing Supervisors

3) The level of misinformation and propaganda coupled with a low information voter and low information media climate favor the status quo as ‘safe’ versus the ‘dangerous’ waters of change.

4) Change means doing something different. As this involves the city of Amsterdam and the county, doing something different is akin to asking your dog to recite Hamlet; you’re asking him to perform something just not innate to his nature.

It’s more than clear that the lack of a county administrator/executive hurts the operations of the county in terms of performance and accountability. It’s also more than clear that the weighed system is a relic of the past in terms of governance.

From all appearances, the process of formulating the charter has been transparent and well-considered. I think the onus should fall on the Supervisors voting against it to articulate what they would implement in its place. Let’s remind ourselves that the existing form of governance is known to be problematic and subject to improvement.

But if experience is a guide, it will always be good enough to shoot something down with absolutely no solution offered.

PS If the Charter Commission wants to gain political advantage, they should cite that the change “protects our seniors” before the other side claims the mantra. The Commission should remember that there does not need to be a factual basis for making such a claim. Because when you say “protect our seniors”, whatever it is you do ,  protects them, no matter what it is. That’s one thing that never changes.

PPS Note to self: ‘nincompoops’ does not imply arrogance and condescension 😉


3 thoughts on “The Times, Are They a’Changin?

  1. Could you clarify “low information media climate?” I only ask because we’ve had multiple stories, editorials, charts, graphs and maps about the proposed change, as well as straight coverage of nearly every charter commission meeting.

    And, no, I don’t think there’s anything arrogant and condescending about the remark. 🙂

    • Low information media refers does not refer to the Recorder or Gazette but to Stewarts, the squawk box and certain blog commentary akin to what you described in your oped. I think I’ve always drawn a bright line on commentary versus journalism; I’ve always tried to make clear that my criticism is more directed at the commentary side of the house when I’ve critiqued the papers. In this case I was pretty clear that the reporting was solid and yes, even the commentary. 😉

      I guess one man’s nincompoop is another’s clueless denizen of the airwaves. (expletives deleted) Just admit it that you really wish you could sometimes unleash your inner George carlin on the oped pages


      • I didn’t think you were taking a shot at all … which is why I was initially confused by the comment. It’s all good.

        And yes, I would love to unleash my inner George Carlin on the op-ed pages, along with my inner Richard Pryor and Mitch Hedberg.

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