Peter Drucker


There is a common problem with government especially local government. Remember the saying that all politics start locally. It does not matter what size of town, city, township, county, school district, or state, it is the style of management that most are concerned with.

There is a commonality of boards, councils, and commissions that seem to manage rather than lead on issues. There is also a tendency to affect management by using the court system. A good example is the political differences between schools and the legislature. So taxpayer dollars are used to bring the courts into the role of arbitrator. The problem is not an arbitrator that proposes a solution for both sides, it is a mandate to force one side to do the wishes of the other with no choice in the matter. Other than the court which has to be complied with no matter what the cost.

In the city down the hill from here there are pictures of the historic town. So many are pointing out where a particular building used to be. The 1960’s Urban Renewal left its mark on most communities and now two or three generations later are the lamentations of losing the historic and attractive buildings are being felt.

Has any City Commission learned anything from those days? Not one thing! If it is old knock it down. If it is ugly, shore it up. If there is a desire to do things different, bulldoze it.

This problem starts with the barn that great granddad built. Let it rot and put up a new modern boring metal shed. If there is a historical significant building on main street tear it down and make a parking lot. If it is a baseball stadium, well just look how Wichita handled that.

As a private citizen if I were to apply for a loan from the local bank and the figures were not right, they would deny me or even turn me in for bank fraud. If the reasons that I needed the money were not wrapped up with contracts and certainties, the same would happen.

If you want to knock down a baseball stadium and build a new shiny multi-million dollar one even though the old teams did not draw enough crowds to pay for it, promise a new team. When the new team did not have permission to talk to you by their league and you talk anyway, you are not responsible. If you do good old boy deals of selling millions of dollars worth of real estate for a dollar a piece, you are not being responsible to your taxpayers. When you do not take care of the one bedrock part of the ball park, you are just being irresponsible.

As a private citizen I would be charged and jailed. If you are an elected city commissioner you are hailed as a great manager.

Just as a person owns a historic building that has protected status decides to not take care of it, runs off it’s paying tenant, and sell it to a developer who has the two sides around you and want to tear it down. You have long had the cash in in your mind and the community has had the value washed out of the place that they will soon think fondly of. And then a generation or two down the road they will ask, Why was that torn down?

Just as most rural towns are now tearing down and the grand kids come back and ask why did you not take care of our home? Your answer? Oh we did not care? We just could not justify saving it and keeping our town attractive enough for others to want to come here?

The next move will be to spend a lot of money on out of town big city consultants to come in and give you a study on how to improve your city.

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