Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Beach Heads to The Polls

Next week, Dartmoutheteers (or whatever we call ourselves. Me 'n' my neighbors.) will be meeting each other at the polling station, laughing and friendly, delightedly standing at the polling shields to once again "send a message to the Select Board" by stabbing each other in the back and punishing the town's children.
Not that I plan to vote "No" on any of the 437 override menu items. (And a debt exclusion.) It was nice of the town to give me the opportunity to decide what I deem worth funding. At least I know I can choose. Even though I choose "YES." But the rest of the fahmahs, most of whom are all boots no tractor and don't really have a dog in the fight, don't care whose ox gets gored.
Or something like that.
They just know that someone told them that some guy named Fishkill McManagemen was on the Selectman Board and paid some guy twice and takes orders from some nameless guy and the Selectmonsters yell and scream at the nice people while the Board votes to give them stupid administrative assistant-vice-superinprincipals raise after secret raise after ransom check.
I swear, the worst thing this community does is stage an election.
Every ugly temperament and every damaging rhetorical device is unsheathed and flailed about until the argument means nothing and the reveal is ruinous -- clear distrust of one's neighbors.
Although the sentimental and rational merge in some (as in momof3npt, whose blog is an example of one altruistic and carefully-considered aspect of the Darkmouth zeitgeist), I'm sure the overwhelming sensibility of most swampers around me is displeasure at having to go out and vote twice in a presidential election year.
"If the damned Select Board can't run the town and has to keep asking us citizens to make up their minds for them, they obviously don't know how to do their job, so they're incompetent and we should insult them in the media and not do whatever they say. We'll bloody well show them!" is the sentiment that'll get their adses to the polls.
Last year, those same voters declined a sweet offer to raise the tax rate a bit more than the usual 2½% rate. A simple, one-time 2½ Override. Since, in reality, the cost of running Dartmoof goes up something like 9% a year, we're already 6% behind. Plus, apparently, somebody promised that taxes would go down every year until every resident receives a check for a million dollars every year until they die. But those are just numbers, and like most people who post about economics online, I'm just making shit up.
Except the 2½. Which was the amount demanded by a bunch called "Citizens for Limited Taxation" back last century, when Presidents Nixon and Reagan inspired Barbara Anderson during an objectivist gasconade. But they stepped right into then-Governor Mike Dukakis' brilliant snare. (He was going to raise costs 1% and taxes 1¼%, but fooled them into raising taxes the 2½%. Muhahahahaha.)
Shamed, they now complain about "crimigrants" on talk radio, still clinging to their logic-bereft slogan: “Every Tax is a Pay Cut ... A Tax Cut is a Pay Raise.” You can imagine where their blessedness takes them.
My little corner of The Beach has its own darling little experiment in groupthink, led by a cabineter who is defended by his followers at every misstep in the same way you'd defend the actions of an excitable puppy or highly-medicated fifth-grader. Their "Citizens for Something-or-other" group is just another excuse for sour pusses, and thus warrants no further discussion here.
This is not to say that the simple folk don't try to solve Dartmouth's fiscal crises. Why, just the other day, the damned wireless allowed one of the cognoscenti an unedited slog through stupid: "You know what I'd do?" it asked. And answered itself, "I'd take all that land trust land they got in trust and staht sellin' off land to the private sectah. That'd get a few million right there."
Dartmouth's "Land Trust" isn't a bank we can draw from. In fact, The Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust (of which I am a member) is here to "preserve and protect Dartmouth’s natural resources for people and nature, forever." And it is the "private sector." Perhaps one of the good things about Dartmouth. Except for the schools and libraries the CitizensForUntaxedAcronyms are so eager to pillage.
No, Jackhole, you can't just take a few acres and sell them and make a few extra bucks. Because then it's gone, and you can't sell it again next year, so you can't put it in the budget for next year, when you'll do something else that's stupid.
Now, what was that about "fiscal mismanagement?"

I hate The Beach.


karie said...

Interesting that the simple-mindeds always toss together the false notion that not-for-profits must be "suckin' up tax paya dollas," rather than the truth, which is that they are independednt private (private-sector) BUSINESSES (yes, including the DNRT) which exist for something other than cash.

Simple-mindeds cannot imagine anything worth anything other than cash. Let alone "land for the future well-being of others."
That "others" part is just too much of a stretch. Oh, and the "not cash" is all just too...not cash focused.


ThirdMate said...

I never liked Simple Minds. The lead singer looked like a sheep.

By the Letters To The Etc I cite above, I have no idea how some people have any concept of socio-economic reality.

If you tell them that non-profits are actually businesses, they will (assuming their typical victim role and) claim that you're lying to them. "Because real businesses make profits. And so where does the money go? Must be going into someone's pocket! You can't trust them!"

You can fix ignorance with the facts. Skepticism should lead people to look for truth. But skepticism without the ability to learn...