Sometimes voters overlook the brightest ideas, and politicians oppose them for personal reasons. Last month, a brilliant idea was advanced by Palm Beach County Mayor Steven L. Abrams. He proposed to merge the two inspectors general into one more efficient and less expensive office.
There are only two reasons to oppose the merger. One is personal, and the other is the belief that only an “independent” IG can fight corruption.
Recently, my friend Richard [Nielsen], on whom my satire was wasted, wrote that the “public has learned the only time politicians lie to them is when their lips are moving.” (“Mocking Voters Who Support Independent OIG?,” June 14) Yet he apparently trusts a completely unaccountable inspector general. True, if the merger were approved, voters would have a say in what the inspector general does or does not do. Voters would have a say in how much to fund the inspector general.
I assume that my friend does not trust voters to make sure that the inspector general is doing a good job? Yet he writes that I am mocking the 72 percent of voters who approved the $7.5 million woman. Which one of us has faith in our republican form of government?
The fact is that I trust well-informed voters, which is why I write these letters that are usually replete with facts, annotations, references, and to date not one writer has disputed the factual bases of any of my arguments.
The problem in this county is that we elect corrupt politicians. We elect incompetent politicians. We elect politicians who are in the pockets of rich donors. We elect rich politicians who protect their investments with their votes. Then when we discover that they are corrupt, we create an unaccountable government agency to fix the problem.
The brilliant proposal of Mayor Abrams would cost taxpayers less, would eliminate multiple lawsuits and would be much more efficient. Finally, other politicians would have no say in the matter, and voters would hold the inspector general accountable. Unfortunately, in this county it is unlikely that voters will be given another opportunity to decide which proposal is best.