Bureaucrat Beat: 28th Amendment, Cut Rate Stamps, and Sign Angst

Are you as sick of political polarities as we are in the Bureaucrat Beat Newsroom? Focus should go onto what’s good for people not on what makes big shots out of Republicans or Democrats.

An email that now circulate around the internet calls for a 28th Amendment to the Constitution. Here’s how it reads: “Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/ or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/ or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States.” Fair enough. The emailer says that members of Congress can retire with the same pay after only one term, it says. Bottom line – folks don’t want an elected elite.

That came clear as glass at the meeting at the Independence Legion Hall as the people pounded on two judges for their decision behind closed doors to move a major project with no public input. We noticed some of the judges’ political enemies in the audience. Something to note before you tromp on the toes of the electorate.

Tip toe around this one. Stan Smith wrote to say that in light of the postal service proposal to cutback Saturday services, including deliveries, he suggests “that we all snip off 1/6 of our 44 cent stamps and save the portions. We would then have a 36.666666 cent stamp,” said Smith, “and every 6th snip you get a freebie when you paste all the snippets together, being very careful to line up the serrated stamp edges for your reconstituted stamp. Of course,” snaps Smith, “don’t expect the USPS to deliver your freebie on any given Saturday.” We feel your pain, Stan. Snip, snip, snip!!!

Lots of sniping over the planned Mammoth Lakes sign on Highway 203. Yikes. We’ve posted many comments on our website story about the sign. Folks seem generally miffed about the expenditure of $152,000 for a sign and particularly a sign that looks industrial not mountainy and pretty. This sign went through three months of Public Arts Commission meetings before a decision. Turns out the money really could not be spent on other things. Developers paid a percentage into a fund for public art. So, as the Town Manager said, this money has to be spent exclusively on public art. Now, back to what is art. Good grief. If you think this sign falls short of art, go to the Town Council and gripe.

Time for a letter from Selma Calnan, known to many in Mammoth and Bishop. She wrote a letter about Inyo’s two judges and the attempt to move a major court project from Independence to Bishop. Selma says this:

Although I live in Bishop The issue of moving the court house to “where the people are” resonates with me. I was happy to live in Madison, Wisconsin, the capitol of Wisconsin located on an isthmus and famous for its beauty, although Milwaukee is where more of the people live.

Before I moved to Bishop, when I lived in Topaz, I heard similar muttering about taking the county seat away from Bridgeport in favor of Mammoth Lakes “where most of the people are.” To those of us out in the Mono colonies, Mammoth Lakes was the Black Hole for money, where real estate prices were out of sight and where many locals hid until the stampede to and from the slopes was over.

I would not have been surprised if a Booster Club or the Chamber of Commerce here in Bishop proposed moving the court house to “where most of the people are.” It was a shock to hear it from judges. The IRS and law enforcement know that one of the best preservers of law and order is voluntary compliance, secured by the intrinsic values in good citizenship. However, when justices short-circuit the democratic process it adds another shade of cynicism to an already disillusioned public.

Is there anyone that really thinks that Sacramento should be scrapped in favor of L.A. or that Albany should close shop in favor of New York City?

Selma Calnan
198 Mac Iver St. #4
Bishop, CA

Moving right along to more small towness. You know you’re in a small town when you’re a public official, you go to donate blood and people want to talk about nothing else but the chicken controversy. Yes, Bishop. Yes, Councilman Jeff Griffiths.

With that, this is Benett Kessler signing off for Bureaucrat Beat where we await your word on our lives in the Eastern Sierra and beyond.


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