Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Manteca: City Government Runs Illegal Business!

Manteca City Council Meeting, November 16, 2010
Agenda Item D.5.

LMAO! Last night it became crystal clear why Walk-On-Water Willie and his Four Apostles voted to let his three Penthouse Pets Barefoot Dirty Girls continue to illegally operate their catering truck business from their residential property. Talk about setting certain people above the law!

The reason is that for the last decade the mayor, the council, and city staff were themselves running illegal daycare businesses on school district properties under the supposed auspices of the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Manteca. The fact that no city staff even pretended to follow state child care laws, when combined with the city's half-assed, taxpayer subsidized, cost recovery accounting methods, produced a huge anti-competitive market force that drove many private daycare providers out of business.

Council members claim to have been hoodwinked by blind, incompetent, mentally absent senior staff; all led astray by stone deaf, pied-piping bufoons in Parks and Rec, who vacillated between recreational social liberalism and greedy capitalist-style profiteering; and undercut and hung out to dry by grossly (perhaps criminally) negligent and terminally stupid municipal legal counsel.

Read all about it here in the Manteca Bulletin (although Dennis really shaded and softened it):

After the ten or eleven years over which Parks and Rec was warned of the illegalities of the program, what were the best evasive responses that councilmen could come up with to rebut charges of municipal wrongdoing leveled by the group of private providers with privately funded legal research and counsel?
  • "But... but... it's for the children..."
  • "We made a mistake."
  • "We didn't know we weren't legal."
  • "We thought we were exempt from state regulation."
  • "A lot of staff turned over in the last few years and things got lost in the shuffle."
I thoroughly enjoyed observing the spanking Mr. Fonseca administered to the publicly embarrassed dumbasses-in-charge. (My own attempt to obtain an administrative, quasi-judicial remedy from these same dumbasses on March 9, 2009 did not go as well.)

Underlying all the emotional pleas of the "helicopter parents" was the proposition that "Our most precious assets - our children - must be protected (and entertained, and educated, and socialized; and the city government, with subsidy from the school government, should unquestionably continue do the job for us poor, entitled, [single - we didn't know sex resulted in kids!], underemployed parents from 6:00 in the morning to 6:00 at night.)"

Entitled? Oh, yeah... The crowd had to be constantly gaveled and reminded that cheers and applause for program proponents - and jeers for opponents - was not appropriate for this meeting of the public. Though they were instructed in advance to quickly voice their support or opposition and to refrain from repeating... repeating... repeating... repeating... the same sentiments previous speakers had already voiced, every speaker viewed their three minutes at the microphone as their inalienable right to tax everyone's time. The interminable claims of entitlement (along the lines of, "Johnny and Suzy are so happy and love their social worker. The program HAS to continue, or our family cannot.") went on and on... and on... and on... The scariest statement made during the unnecessarily long and tediously repetitious meeting was that those selfsame, state-raised children would at some future day occupy the city councilmen's seats.

"Several council members alluded to the possibility the fees might actually drop once all expenses are taken into account."
Bullshit. In what financial wonder-world do these guys live? The vote to retain the program was made on the assumption that the costs, once fully identified, will still be lower than those of the private sector. (Obviously, they have been smoking Lynda Allen's new crop of marijuana, privately referred to in code as "getting a Sierra high.") Private providers may have lower educational requirements, but they have a profit motive in order to pay their mortgages, food bills and other living expenses. Yet-to-be-hired daycare site directors [government workers in teacher unions] have higher educational requirements and will demand higher wages in order to pay their mortgages, food bills and other living expenses. The city finance department's slippery sleight of hand will come in the allocation (payment) of costs to the school district for facility rents, supplies, utilities, etc., associated with the daycare program. Just like Lynda Allen's hobby nuisance business, TLC Catering, surviving only by evading business rents for two decades, so also Kidzone accounting has been evading massive costs for a decade.

This sorry farce is going to come back to the city council in a couple months. The recommendation will be that Kidzone be discontinued or "privatized." Some staffers at city hall are going to shit their shorts when reality finally dawns and they suddenly discover that full costing will take them to - or over - the price point that private providers have been dealing with for all this time.

Perhaps most infuriating of all is the deal cut with the State of California in which penalties and fines will be forgiven while compliance efforts are undertaken (with the government-WAG it can be completed.) What of the previous ten years? Completely ignored and silently swept under the rug is the taxpayer rape and economic trampling of small business for over a decade. No acknowledgements, no apologies, no Too F'n Bad, no repercussions, no nothing. Law was there; compliance was not. Ten years of screw-up written off. Law means nothing. Teflon politicians in Teflon suits to whom nothing sticks.

Which brings us to the last point. WhyTF is the City of Manteca even involved in this tax transfer [welfare service program] at all? Childcare is not an essential government service. (Libraries are not an essential government service. Dog parks, parks and recreation, - the list goes on - are not essential government services.) The City of Manteca claims not to be able to keep its financial head above water, yet it is mucking around in welfare services? The city is not, should not, and should never be, in business - or pretend to be.

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