We assume individual merit was why elected and non-elected public servants rose to their levels of authority.
Municipal finance has long been a cesspool. States, towns, hospitals, transit authorities, all have long been ripe for the picking. Sometimes local officials are paid off (anything from cold hard cash to gifts to skybox tickets), but much of the time, there’s no need to go to such lengths, since preying on their ignorance will do. As we’ve pointed out, even though these bodies often hire consultants, those advisors are often either not up to the task (how can people who don’t know finance vet an expert?) and/or have bad incentives (more complicated deals, which are generally more breakage prone, tend to produce higher consulting fees).
In normal times, the public is correct to accept their officials’ best work. After all, someone has to keep those who graduated in the lower 90% of their class from Tier 2 universities off the street. Their decisions are insignificant in 99% of the cases as, of course, are all of ours.
But considering the Midhurst Secondary Plan is the most important single law in over 150 years, we must demand and get quantifiable-based, demonstrable competence or default to “no”.
What makes municipality run (READ: $) makes it a cesspool, suggests Smith.
The only question is for us to take control and make sure our political septic system is a functional one.