Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Maricopa: Worst Run County in America

Submitted by a reader

Remember 1994? We were in a recession and Maricopa County was in desperate times. The County Treasurer was sounding the alarm on mismanagement and overspending. The Board of Supervisors (BOS) claimed they didn’t know there was a problem, the county manager said everything was fine. Sound familiar? Don’t worry, be happy. Every little thing is gonna be alright. Just as the national and local economy took an upturn, primarily because of the natural cycle, the BOS hires a super hero, a liberal from New York, David “control freak” Smith. We’ll call him Macho-Liberal, or ML for short.

Smith came in and took credit for the economic upturn his first year, even though he had nothing to do with it. Now, Macho-Liberal has come full circle and Maricopa has become the worst run county in America. Some things have changed, but the Supervisors still don’t have a clue as to what is going on. What has changed is the County is swimming in cash far beyond the spending limits that were voter mandated. Whenever parts of the county have become financial holes, instead of fixing them, the BOS under Smith's instruction has simply spun them off into unaccountable spending districts outside of public scrutiny, like the Maricopa Healthcare District, and 2-3 more districts like that which consistently lose money every year. It has also grown far beyond the ability of ML to understand. The Board is at war with most of the County Elected Officers and ML is the common denominator. This is so egregious that the Elected Officers took the unprecedented step of meeting as a group and agreed ML is the main problem. According to the Republic, all 7 elected officials are unanimously fed up with Smith.

The County chooses to construct a monument to their own corruption we commonly call the Taj Mahal. This will also make it much more difficult to cut the County into a series of smaller counties, something that desperately needs to happen. To fund the Taj within the spending caps, the BOS attacks law enforcement and puts the public at risk. The Boards lapdog lawyer, Tom Irvine and his firm, represent both the Courts and the Supervisors. They had the County attorney removed from an investigation into suspicious activity because they claimed he has a conflict of interest. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

The list of corruption and conflicts involving this BOS is long and people are sick and tired of reading about them every day in the paper. They follow the typical pattern of crooks - when under investigation by law enforcement, attack the law enforcement. We're waiting for them to attack the Dept. of Justice next. Not only is the Maricopa County Sheriff and County Attorney investigating this BOS, but DOJ is now too.

This BOS has tried to obstruct other county officials nonstop for the past couple of years, and is now fighting with almost all of them. It is all about power, they are trying to take over these other elected officials powers so they can hog most of the county money for themselves and their politically correct projects like promoting diversity. First they went after the last County Assessor, causing him to lose reelection (he was later exonerated in a court of law). Next they went after the last County Superintendent of Schools, Sandra Dowling, ruining her reputation and causing her not to bother running again for reelection (she was later exonerated of all charges except a low-level misdemeanor of hiring a relative - for a low-paying wage). Then they went after the Treasurer, both the last Treasurer David Schweikert and the current Treasurer Hos Hoskins, forcing them to turn over their entire IT department by eliminating the Treasurer's IT employees. Next they went after the County Attorney, cutting the budget for one-third of his civil attorney side, forcing some of those employees to find jobs with them instead. Now the BOS runs its own "shadow County Attorney's Office" as it continues to try and cut the County Attorney's Office further by requiring it to cut an additional 15% of its budget. Finally, the BOS went after Sheriff Arpaio, trying to withhold funding for his illegal immigration enforcement that had been allotted to him by the legislature. At the last minute, they were forced to revote and authorize the money. But they also forced him to cut his budget 15%. Meanwhile, law enforcement is suffering, while the BOS's $340 million Taj Mahal is being built for the courts. The BOS insists on building this overpriced monstrosity in the midst of a recession because they want to keep the courts on their side. As long as the judges are on their side, they will be able to escape prosecution!

It’s time to put Macho-Liberal out to pasture. The Supervisors have an opportunity to get the County back on track.

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