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Writing & Hoping to Right Some Wrongs

Just a brief aside before I continue with Wind Turbines …
I’ve often been told that I don’t view the World through the eyes of a Normal Human Being. This is very true, and it’s both a gift and a curse.
My late brother Rick, on the birth of my first child Ginny, said: “If only we could continue to see the world through the eyes of a child …where everything is fresh and new, everything is a learning experience, and nothing is taken for granted, or accepted without question.”
I find this to be a very wise statement, though I’m sure it has caused my mother and my friends some grief when they are asked kindly if they can make me shut up.
They say: “I have no control over what he writes,” and, often, neither do I. But, for some reason, I need to say what I see, and it gives voice to many of my allies and adversaries, in the pursuit of making the County work
Though the County is probably the greatest place in the World to be, seeing as we have the fewest number of earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, nuclear upsets, terrorism attacks and drive-by gang shootings of any other
place in the world (Yay!), things can always be better. (If we had an EDO, this would be a great promotion: “The County! Zero Drive-By Gang Shootings
So Far!”)
As much as I love Things County, my concerns are with the things that suck.
Already, Mom is getting into her car to come and box my ears for using the vulgar term “sucks”.
So, for the rest of this column, I will refer to things that suck as “Wrongs”, with a capital W. If you are as crude as I am, you can substitute the word “sucks” each time it appears, and Mom doesn’t need to know.
Though I hesitate to resurrect and rebury the bruised body of Dan Taylor, this was Wrong. My ally/antagonist Dennis Fox took me to task in a Times letter, saying that the EDO did not provide acceptable proof to Council of
his actions. I am as surprised by his position as he was by mine.
Dennis is one of the few people who always looks at the Big Picture, but it seems he’s joined the pencil-pushers who say: “If it’s not in a 20-page report, and every number is verifiable, it does not exist.”
C’mon, haven’t we had enough of this? The answers aren’t in giant reports, and they aren’t in Xcel spread-sheets. The answers are in Results.
We’re “report-crazy” to the point of serious national psychological trauma.
Ask anyone who has dealt with an insurance company on a claim; a bank on an ATM transaction in which the 20s did not come out of the machine, yet your card has been “eaten”; a passport application by a Dutch couple who
emigrated to the County in 1952, yet can’t get a renewal; the couple whose mortgage papers were not delivered by Picton Post Office because you can’t have both a Box Number and a Street Address on the envelope, and they didn’t find out for two weeks. These are all clients of mine.
This Wrongs.
I run a business. You know how you gauge the success of a business?
Through results.
Doing The Job is the most important thing. Paperwork and reports (even doing my yearly tax returns) are not the job. They are annoyances that need to be fit in between the jobs that need to be done.
So Dennis has joined the pack of people who keep their heads looking down at a table, waiting for Numbers, and raging about the Great God  of Accountability. But only one kind of Accountability. On paper.
Raise your head and look around. You will see Results, if you only look.
If you want to stare at paper, then make that your job. The rest of us are already busy Doing The Job, and don’t have the time left in a 24-hour day to make sure your Paperwork Fetish is properly stroked.
It’s like a man holed up in a cabin, who says: “I don’t know what the Sun is doing today, because I have all of the blinds pulled, and doors locked.
But soon, someone will come and give me a 100-page report on what the sun is doing, which I will analyze and question, and perhaps hire a consultant to verify, and after extensive research and $30,000 in fees, I will determine
if the sun is doing the right thing today.”
This Wrongs.
The results are clear, and they are visible all around you. If you want to measure it in numbers, or degrees, or furlongs, it Wrongs to be you.
Want proof? Try this out on the Roads Department (which I understand from a councillor is also under scrutiny, so at least the persecution is even-handed).
Let’s see if a Councillor stands up and says: “So exactly how many dollars has the expensive road repair on County Road 10 netted us? You can round it off to the nearest dollar, if that helps.”
It’s as foolish a question as the one asked of the EDO.
Ironically enough, the same group who is so financially astute they vowed to personally watch every dime the EDO spends, has allocated $30,000 to hire a guy to hire a guy. Apparently they know so little about what their Chief
Financial Officer does, they have to pay a consultant to figure it out. I’m surprised they don’t spend another $15,000 to hire a guy to find the right consultant to hire a CFO.
Apparently these kinds of numbers pose no problem when it comes to budgets.
Yet I hear from my Dump Guy that the County will be closing all but two dumps in the wintertime. This saves the measly pay of a half-dozen two-day-a-week workers, and sends us back to the days of dumping our garbage by the roadside. Proves once again that County would rather invest in trucks, tractors and quarries than in people.
As my Mom would say: “Penny-wise and Pound-foolish.” Save nickels and dimes; blow thousands. That Wrongs.
It also Wrongs that a pre-Election McGuinty has announced additional funds for hospitals, suddenly growing a Giant Heart full to bursting a la The Grinch Who Stole Hospital Beds. Shame on you.
Go back to checking your polls and reading your reports.
The rest of us have work to do.

Filed Under: Steve Campbell

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