Sunday, August 25, 2013

Howler of the Summer

In a post this June, we ran this photo:

followed by this paragraph:

It’s tough coming up with something more ‘laughable’ then Rich Ellis’ statements of concern about how to mitigate the effect of major property tax increases on behalf of the school department.

What did we end up with on this budget – a nearly 7% tax rate increase?  With plenty more to come, compliments of two new schools, a surefire major hit to adapt and repair the ‘new’ Town Offices, and who knows what else.

Laughing on the outside, crying on the inside surely applies.

Today’s laugh riot, which we’re calling the “howler of the summer,” since we pretty much took the useful summer off, if not the literal one, comes as a result of our focus on BDC matters.

If you read the documents that created and govern BDC operation, you know that the Bylaws contain this language:

The corporation is organized and shall be operated on a
nonprofit basis to foster, encourage, assist, support, and promote the development, establishment, settlement, or resettlement within the Town of Brunswick, Maine, of industrial, manufacturing, fishing, agricultural, recreational, or other business enterprises.

Strangely enough, he said, stroking his chin in a gesture of bewilderment, the articles of incorporation had a longer version of this language with this appendage to the above:

for purposes of simulating economic growth in the Town in part by providing support incentives for businesses to construct and expand facilities incorporating new techniques, combatting community deterioration, lessening the burdens of government, providing for increased tax base within the town; (emphasis ours)

Did you catch that?  We just noticed it ourselves as we were typing: “SIMULATING economic growth.”  We’re not sure if Johnny Protocols was involved in drafting this language, but it seems to fit his ‘stylistic’ leanings.  So be advised, lucky readers, that the BDC is o-ficially created to simulate economic growth, even though their Bylaws ‘vacated’ this obligation.

But the real howler is this one: “lessening the burdens of government.”  Yah, shurr, Ollie.

We defy readers, and even non-readers, to come up with just one example in recent memory of ANY government undertaking at ANY level that lessens the burdens of government.  Doing so is congenitally impossible for anyone in government.  No-one is going to act to eliminate their own job, power, and income.  And you can tell everyone else you heard that here first.  We know from personal experience that just trying to slow down the increase in “the burdens of government” unleashes a fury of resistance that must be seen to be believed.

Including such language in any document like this takes a level of chutzpah that goes way beyond the pale.  As we said, those who wrote the Bylaws didn’t have the hindsight to include the language, but so what. They did include this reference to the underlying, but repealed, statutory language:

The Corporation shall constitute a "local development corporation" pursuant to 5 M.R.S.A. §13081(6).

Details, shmetails.  Who cares?  C’mon…this is gubmint we’re talkin’ about here, not sumthin’ impotent.  Now duck calls, them’s impotent!


Quack, quack.

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