I live in El Centro, CA, which is located in the County of Imperial. We are not a large community, but it is a decent place to live. If you are unfamiliar with this place, no one could really blame you. We live about 15 miles from the Mexican border and about 60 miles from Arizona. So we deal with some of the issues that Arizonans are facing with illegal aliens. Our community is roughly 75% Latino and of course there are a lot of strong feelings about Arizona’s new immigration law (SB 1070 and HB 2162).
Like a bunch of lemmings, a lot of cities are joining the bandwagon to publicly oppose Arizona’s law. I disagree with these resolutions based on two things. One, I believe most people opposing Arizona’s law have not read it and do not understand it. And two, governments (local or otherwise) are wasting public funds on these resolutions.
This week I read that the County of Imperial is now considering adopting a similar resolution. Never mind that they are only considering opposing the law (apparently supporting the law never entered the discussion). Sounds like Luis Fuentes has some biases, but wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. So what’s the big deal you ask? Let’s look at what we can expect as a return of investment on those tax-dollars.
Like the Emperor and his new clothes, you might be expecting something grand to come of these much vaunted resolutions. Problem is, we are starting to feel a draft. That’s right folks, you have purchased…nothing. Oh, I know, I am fomenting logic and reason again, terrible me, so let me explain.
First and foremost, we can establish that Imperial County is in California, thus outside Arizona’s jurisdiction. We can also establish that Arizona is a sovereign state that has the right to create legislation for the protection of its people. The only question and opinion that matter on this issue is; does Arizona’s law violate the Constitution? Well, it is the Judiciary (remember that third branch of the government?) that make that determination, not the poll of public opinion. So, passing a resolution about Arizona’s law has no affect other than giving politicians a tax-payer funded pandering campaign. Well, I don’t know about you, but I could think of other things to invest our tax dollars on.
So what goes into passing these resolutions? According to documents from the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, the County of Imperial is considering five resolutions to set the tone of their displeasure. Several of the resolutions advocate a boycott of Arizona. Not a great idea considering the link between the two states due to the agricultural industry. Oh, most people from this area are involved in the agriculture industry.
These proposed resolutions are based on resolutions passed in other cities. So, someone must have researched those resolutions. Then staff would have to type up the proposed resolutions and present them to the Supervisors and County Counsel (our attorney for the county). County Counsel must review these proposed resolutions to see if they will get the County in hot water. I can only imagine there might have been some changes made to get the language just right to make the attorneys happy. So, more time is spent correcting, then further review, maybe then everyone is happy on round two, but I doubt it. As you can see, the number of people involved is growing along with time spent on these proposed resolutions.
Then there is the cost of materials; printing, make copies, make corrections, reprinting, more copies, etc. Having obtained a copy of these resolutions myself, it is apparent someone forgot to proof-read and/or use spell-check, so more editing, printing, copying, etc. is necessary. Let’s not forget that they also want to post this information on the internet. So IT services must be involved, albeit that they didn’t do their job properly and the link doesn’t work. I am guessing that they will have to fix that link so more time will be spent correcting the previous problem.
As you can see, work-hours are starting to increase along with the added cost of office supplies. In the end, how many work-hours will have been spent on bringing this resolution to a vote for a useless endeavor? What are the salaries and benefits being paid to each County employee for the work-hours spent on the proposed resolutions? How much is being spent on paper, ink, copier services, other office supplies, etc.? What legitimate issues are not being addressed while employees concentrate on frivolous matters?
The cost may end up in the thousands dollars. Well, that may not seem like much, but in today’s economy every dollar counts. Government waste should not be tolerated. I submit that any monies spent for such matters are a waste of public funds and breach of public trust. Our government has a fiduciary responsibility to the tax-payer to utilize public funds for public benefit. There is no benefit here.
I recognize that not all the Supervisors support these proposed resolutions. So I would like to give special attention to Supervisor Luis Fuentes. Fuentes is the driving force behind these proposed resolutions (all the proposed resolutions are under his name). I recommend you all get a copy of the resolutions and compare them to SB 1070 and HB 2162. Not only is this endeavor a waste of time, but the proposed resolutions are full of inaccuracies, racial bias, and omissions that dupe the reader. I may post a detailed analysis later, but I suggest you research for yourself as well.
So I am left with two options to consider about Fuentes. Option one, Fuentes has not read the Arizona bills and his quixotic quest reveals his ignorance. Or option two, he has read those bills and is misleading the public. Option three, Fuentes does not have an understanding of the law, in which case I suggest have someone perform a critical analysis of the proposals.
I suggest you look at your local government and find out if they are wasting your tax dollars in the same way. We should not sit by and allow these politicians to throw our money away like they have limitless funds.
Lege et lacrima