By Mike Thayer
Only three things happen when the government gets involved in social matters.
- The wait gets longer
- The quality goes down
- The cost goes up
Johnson County Supervisors Rod Sullivan, Sally Stutsman and Pat Harney made a very poor fiscal decision by thinking they can throw 20,000 taxpayer dollars at the Regency Mobile Home Park, as if that will truly 'fix' anything. And mark my words, they've already said $20,000 isn't enough, that figure will grow. Supervisors will eventually take more of your money, make more excuses to repair roofs and caulk windows in pre-1976 trailers.
That doesn't actually address the supposed problem though. And what Sullivan, Stutsman and Harney have approved is NOT a proper role of government.
Without question, the park has issues, to use Sullivan's own words: "...I see several big roles for government here - including safe water, working sewer, police protection, public transit, etc."
So how does throwing 20,000 taxpayer dollars into roof repair give park residents clean water and properly working sewers?
Answer: It doesn't.
Throwing taxpayer money at Regency is not a productive solution and you can tell by Sullivan's own words that larger funding requests (more like $ forcibly taken and you can't say boo about it) are coming. Ladies and gentlemen, county government is not supposed to be fixing the roofs and caulking the windows of anyone's home. That is NOT a proper role of government. Sullivan, Stutsman and Harney seem to be incapable of thinking outside the government box. They think the government is the only source of action, the one and only cure-all for any perceived problem brought up by the public. Sullivan, Stutsman and Harney limit their thinking and the problems being brought to their attention that could be addressed by other means wind up growing in size and scope as a result of that limited 'government only solution' kind of thinking. Sullivan & Company are inept *leaders.*
You want to effect change at the Regency Mobile Home Park? Get some cameras in there. Somebody needs to do a John Stossel style expose on the park. Get Yale Cohn and Tack in there to do some investigative reporting. Get it on PATV, get it on YouTube. Interview residents and get on tape the attempts to interview park management. That exposure will do more to effect positive change - free market change - than anything the county government has proposed to do. Once you've got that video online in front of a national audience, start soliciting business people to consider purchasing the park and taking over management. Heck, start up a donation drive, set up a non-profit so they can purchase the park and take over management. Ideas generate other ideas people, when the compelling video buzz gets going, all the local media is going to want to jump on the bandwagon.
The government isn't the solution here, THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX! County government has messed with Regency business for years now but not much of anything has actually gotten done.... Meanwhile, residents wait for something to happen, the quality of the park has gone down, and now the costs to the public are about to go WAY up.
Mark my words, you read it here first..... Supervisors are going to come back with larger funding requests for Regency.
And here's the dirty little secret, this isn't really about park residents, it's about some supervisors exerting their personal will on a private enterprise they don't like. Supervisors Rod Sullivan, Sally Stutsman and Janelle Rettig didn't get their way in wanting to play control freak with an over-reaching county maintenance code mandate........ That got voted down...... So now they've decided to do an end around and just throw money at the Regency. That's a manipulation folks. It's kind of like when Democrats lose an election, they ignore the voice of the people and try to manipulate the courts to get their way.
Supervisor Rod Sullivan and Sally Stutsman are control freaks who can't think outside the government box. Both are up for political office this November. Sullivan - a career politician - wants to maintain his supervisor seat. Stutsman - also a career politician - is trying to move up for a seat in the Iowa House.
Are these the kind of *leaders* you want in office?