Terrific Quote From Mayor Funkhouser
The funky mayor of Kansas City appears to understand that political patronage and city hall featherbedding are the ways of political machines, not responsible government. I absolutely love this quote from him in today’s Prime Buzz blog, by the Kansas City Star:
"My job is not save someone’s job," he said. "My job is to exercise leadership."
He said his responsibility is to ensure city workers are doing their jobs well on behalf of citizens.
The above quote gives me hope, which is of course all the rage in fashionable American politics these days. But I digress. The mayor’s response was to a question about whether he is going to fill two openings on his staff. He said yes, and left himself open to criticism (already appearing in the article’s comments section) about "not caring" or "being a meany" or some such crap.
The key question should not be whether the mayor is going to fill his two positions. The question should be: Are they truly needed, and is there enough to do for the new hires to work an honest 40-hour week (or more)? If the answer to those questions is yes, then the mayor should fill the spots. One of the openings is for a policy analyst, and I can assure you that nobody in American business or government has a more demanding job or works harder than policy analysts. …
I shall close in all seriousness. Government is not a jobs program, and taxpayers should not have to fund city workers just because they have been there awhile, or they have good political connections, or because it would be cruel to let them go, or whatever. It is terrific that Mayor Funkhouser understands this, and is leading by making the hard but necessary decisions. Saint Louis City Hall could take a lesson from this. And as I now await the angry phone call, I should clarify that I am referring to Saint Louis city government as a whole not just one office or leader.