Monday, September 14, 2015

Rosenbarger's plaque, Gahan's yard sign, ethical quagmires, and the urgent need for deep cleansing in City Hall.

We're still not exactly sure how much the .8-mile-long Main Street "Improvement" Project cost, but whether $3 million, $4 million or probably more, it was intended (among other aims, most of them far more dubious) to improve the value of property on Main Street, at the request of a handful of residents, and to the exclusion of properties on the remainder of the streets in the city.

John Rosenbarger administered the project.

He lives on Main Street.

He will benefit from it.

He now has a Gahan sign in his yard.

We snicker at corruption in other countries, and throw around terms like "banana republic" and "kleptocracy" ...

Kleptocracy, alternatively cleptocracy or kleptarchy, (from Greek: κλέπτης - kleptēs, "thief" and κράτος - kratos, "power, rule", hence "rule by thieves") is a term applied to a government seen as having a particularly severe and systemic problem with officials or a ruling class (collectively, kleptocrats) taking advantage of corruption to extend their personal wealth and political power. Typically this system involves the embezzlement of state funds at the expense of the wider population, sometimes without even the pretense of honest service.

... but maybe we should refrain -- particularly those in the camp of the mayor who has rendered such notions so very close to home.

After all, given the immediate need for deep cleansing in City Hall, we wouldn't want to insult the world's kleptocrats, would we?

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