“It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong. – THOMAS SOWELL
At the forum Thursday at WNMU on raising the GRT, Nick Seibel said the following about the ballot’s lack of spending specificity, “We elected these people, so we can hold them accountable by being able to replace them.”
Really? Let’s think about it. How do you hold accountable someone who’s no longer in office, e.g. former Governor Richardson and his Spaceport? What about the proportionality problem? By this I mean the “punishment“ of losing office rarely compensates for the damage done. If we boot out the commissioners responsible for a multimillion dollar cinema multiplex boondoggle, we’re holding the bag while they’re going on their merry way. That’ll show ’em!
Then we come to WNMU President Joe Shepard, not an elected office holder.
In truth, there is nothing we can do to any of them to hold them truly accountable. This got me to thinking about a surety bond, or performance bond, that the county could require of the commissioners voting to build the multiplex. This works sort of like a life insurance policy. If the multiplex “dies”, the surety company pays the face amount of the policy, e.g. $100,000, to the county and then cashes in the collateral the commissioner(s) placed with the surety company.
I contacted a surety company and talked to a knowledgeable young man about doing this, and I learned that there is no company, anywhere, that writes performance bonds on politicians. Gee. How sad. The sympathetic young man, Josh, suggested that I look into something called an irrevocable letter of credit, ILC, issued by a local bank that would pledge payment to the county from the customer’s account, in this case a county commissioner’s account, in the event of the multiplex not meeting expectations.
I then talked to a local bank president. Yes, an ILC in such a case is possible, but normally the bank requires a cash escrow, not a second mortgage or promissory note, etc., BUT, it is certainly conceivable an ILC could be issued using such collateral. I figure, where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Then, I thought, why ask just the county commissioners to step up to the plate? There are a number of Silver City’s leading citizens who would like to see a cinema multiplex built here, and I’m sure all of them would join the three county commissioners in pledging a portion of their personal assets, say $100,000 each, to at least partially indemnify Grant County taxpayers in the event the multiplex bombs.
Following is a list of people identified in local news coverage, mostly The Grant County Beat, as supporting raising the GRT to build a multiplex. If I have left anyone out, I sincerely apologize, and if I’ve wrongly accused –oops!–cited you as a multiplex supporter, I will publicly apologize, buy you a cup of expresso at Polly’s Javalina and donate $5 to The Puppy Dog Ranch.
Joe Shepard, James Marshall, Alex Brown, Alex Ocheltree, Tony Trujillo, Jason Quimby, Nick Seibel, Skip Thacker, Trent Petty, Mary Stoecker, Kim Clark, Edward Encinas, and of course our three Gant County Commissioners: Brett, Gabe and Ron.
Since I am personally acquainted with almost all of these people, I know they are an honorable bunch who will rush to take out ILCs in the tragic event the GRT tax increase is approved by the voters. At $100,000 each, that will go a long way to protecting Grant County’s taxpayers.
Furthermore, it will be a noble effort that will garner much favorable publicity for Silver City. I can see one of my favorite Libertarians, John Stossel, leading the TV crews down Bullard, interviewing proud citizens and proclaiming how this could be the start of a national trend that could CHANGE THE FUTURE OF AMERICA!
I’m so proud of the folks who will be doing this that the more I think about it, the more choked up I’m getting. The page is getting blurry, so I’d better quit now. Besides, it’s my turn on Signal Peak to watch for Crop Circle Aliens.