Even Darth Stewie was more fiscally responsible than Richland County Council

OK, follow me here; I’m going to bounce around a little…

Remember how we were talking about the new Star Wars movie earlier this week? Well, Alexandra Petri was riffing on that a bit, or rather on the stupid campaign by some racists to get a boycott of the new film going (yeah, good luck with that, Jim Bob), and she noted facetiously that there were far more defensible reasons to object to the franchise, including this:

Death Stars are the ultimate wasteful government spending project. At best, the constant construction of Death Stars is Keynesian economics at its very worst, trying to keep people employed by pouring money into giant holes in space. Does the Imperial military even want these? Given their obvious defects, it seems unlikely. Probably what it wants are helmets you can see out of or armor that works, and the Empire has not given it that yet.

Ah, but Ms. Petri missed the one most wasteful thing about the Death Star, which was that it was designed to be doomed, as “Family Guy” pointed out so effectively:

You’ll note that in this version, the Death Star didn’t get the glaring flaw addressed in a timely fashion because Darth Stewie insisted on getting some cost estimates.

Well, good for him. Even though he’s supposed to be an embodiment of evil, he’s more fiscally responsible than Richland County Council:

Richland County Council voted this week to hold its annual retreat in downtown Charleston early next year, despite having multiple local options presented to them and without having cost estimates to judge their decision by.

The retreat, at which council members and staff discuss plans for major policy items for the coming year, will be held Jan. 27-29, 2016, at Embassy Suites on Meeting Street. Council voted 8-3 to hold the retreat in Charleston, with council members Julie-Ann Dixon, Bill Malinowski and Seth Rose dissenting.

Dixon, Malinowski and Rose voted to hold the retreat at the Richland County Administration Building in Columbia.

Embassy Suites in Columbia and the YMCA in Lexington were both offered as options for Jan. 27-29.

Malinowski said his rationale for holding the retreat locally was threefold: to save money, to spend the money within the community and to give citizens an easy opportunity to attend the meeting if they wish.

“I think the people should have easy access to the government, and we’re not doing that,” Malinowski said….

I told you I was going to jump around a bit. But I got there in the end, didn’t I?

6 thoughts on “Even Darth Stewie was more fiscally responsible than Richland County Council

  1. Doug Ross

    Mileage reimbursement for each person driving aseparately will be around $150. Free food. Lodging with likely spouses staying in room. Golf or other “bonding” activities… Tax free vacations are one of the perks. And by the time the election rolls around again, nobody will care. It happens ask the time with school boards as well. Junkets that are nothing but vacations.

    1. Bryan Caskey

      Shucks, Doug. Without all the free stuff, preferential treatment, and ability to graft, most folks wouldn’t care to be a politician.

  2. Barry

    Doug is correct. These retreats are usually for the spouse to get out of town as much as anyone.

    When i worked fo the state in the late 90s, our agency employees were able to attend a conferene at the beach every March or April- depending on the exact dates of course. .

    However, any “regular” line employee could only go once every few years. You couldn’t take your spouse unless you paid for them, and you had to attend the scheduled events/ trainings.

    It was a reality for all of us that the “regular” employees were always at our scheduled events. After all, that was the requirement handed down by our agency. Of course superisors and directors were rarely seen at any of the events. In fact, our director had a standing golf outing each day we were there. I never saw him at any of the events.

    Richland County Council has this event in downtown Charleston (The most expensive area in the state of South Carolinia) because they can. They know most people can’t do anything about it. They know most are too busy with their own concerns to made any deal about it.

    In short, they don’t care.

    The 3 members that voted no should – if they were smart about it – refuse to attend and hold their own “outing” locally in Columbia at a central location. They would get press coverage and might be able to shed adequate light on the issue to make people care.

  3. Lynn Teague

    An electorate that isn’t marching in the streets about $49,000+ sole source contracts from the City to do heaven only knows what is awfully complacent.

  4. Barry

    and Councilman Jeter’s comments in The State about how if it was held in Columbia he might not prioritize the meetings and would likely be tempted to drive around town to other meetings was ridiculous.

    Jeter admits that the planning session is the most important thing all year long on one hand- and in the same statement says he would be tempted to miss that to try to do other things around Columbia.

    That says a lot about Mr. Jeter doesn’t it? After all, if you are willing to miss what you consider the most important thing on your schedule, you probably should seriously reevaluate your commitment level.

    Advice to Mr. Jeter – if you are making up excuses, run them by someone- anyone (Heck, try an elementary school class if no one else is available) before making them public so you can get feedback on how to sound believable- and reasonable.


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