Losing Faith In Local Government

I’ve mentioned many times here that I live in a very rural and mountainous area of Tennessee. Recently they had begun paving some of these rural roads as is typical whenever the Road Commissioner is up for  re-election. Now this isn’t actually paving, but simply tar and gravel graded out smooth – better than nothing. Well, one day, much to my surprise, the road crew began paving my little dead end road. They started at the dead end, at the end of my drive, and worked back towards the main road. When I came home that evening they had completed better than 3/4 of the road – not bad! The next day as I was heading out, sure enough the crew was back; 3 dump trucks full of  gravel, the tanker full of tar (or whatever it actually is), road grader and 7-8 workers were getting set up. That’s when it takes a bit of an odd turn. When I returned from work that evening, I realized they hadn’t finished the road, huh. No, instead of paving the road, they had used those resources to pave a private driveway. Strange, but it was Friday and I simply assumed the crew would return to complete the job on Monday. Well, you’ve probably guessed by now that Monday came and went with no sign of the crew. Days went by, no crew.

After a week or so I decided to contact the County Mayor (yes, out here in the boonies it’s a County Mayor); I sent him a detailed accounting of what had transpired, and politely requested a response and included my phone number. Nothing. I called his office repeatedly over the next few weeks, but each time he was conveniently out of the office. However, one day someone other than his receptionist answered the phone and said that he was indeed available and asked my name. Well, again, you’ve probably guessed it, the Mayor just let it go to voicemail. Again, (can you feel the frustration yet?) I left a polite message referencing my email and requesting a call back. Nothing.

After 6 long weeks of attempting to get an answer as to why taxpayer funded resources were used on private property, I was fed up. So I decided to contact the State Comptrollers office. Well, I find there is a web form you can fill out and a 1-800 hotline number. Submitting the web form gets you nothing, no conformation, case number, nothing you can follow up on. Calling the hotline is even worse; it notifies you immediately that it is a one-way line and that no calls will be returned. Outstanding!

So here we are, it’s election time and they all want our votes, but no one has time to actually do anything. I’ve fired off a few emails to other State officials, but I’m not very optimistic as you can imagine. It’s been nearly 2 months now and I haven’t received as much as an email confirmation – nothing. Government at it’s finest.

And they wonder why we’re preppers.

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