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Some thoughts on snow and government

29 Dec

Image copyright New York Times

Copyright DNAINFO.com/ Jim Scott

So between my lack of sleep and the snow on the ground somehow I stumbled upon looking at some pictures of the blizzard on the eastern seaboard right now. Of course snow storms in December are nothing really out of the ordinary for the Eastern US but this one happened at the worst time possible since it was a holiday weekend and that means closed government and lots of extra travel. But what surprised me the most was the outcry from people (even some conservative politicians) saying that government has failed the people and the government should be doing more.

The two largest stories of outcry I heard this morning were, that Mayor Bloomberg of NYC isn’t doing enough and although the street leading to his house  is plowed well, many of the lower income boroughs are being massively neglected. This should not surprise anyone. This is very typical of politicians anywhere, eventually people need to learn that in general government doesn’t care about them, they care about votes, they care about staying in government and they care about protecting themselves. But they do not care about the average citizen. The second story of outrage I heard this morning was that the State of New Jersey is up in arms because Governor Chris Christie and his Lt. Governor are both out of town on vacation for the holidays while the state is in a crisis. First let me respond to this by saying yes it does look bad when your top leadership is on a beach in Florida while the state is buried in snow. However, in todays world of cell phones, Skype connections, the ability to remote access your office and everything else, the actual location of the Governor is irrelevant. Sure it would be great if he was on the morning news with a snow shovel helping some old lady by clearing her driveway but you and I know things like that only happen when the news cameras are on.

Both of these stories illustrate the same point, in a crisis you can only depend on yourself to get out of it. So instead of spending time expressing your anger towards government yet again dropping the ball. Get out there clear your own driveway and then go down the street and check on that elderly neighbor. I think the greatest statement the people of NYC or New Jersey could make is if they banded together got the city back on its feet and at least partially functional and proved to the politicians that they didn’t need their help. Once a fair number of citizens realize that you can be far more productive without the bureaucratic mess,  THAT my friends will be change we can believe in.

UPDATE: As was brought up in the comments, NJ has constituional rules that would actually prevent my idea of “remote government” I urge NJ and any other states that have this nonsense to work to remedy it quickly.

From the NJ State constitution

7.   In the event of the failure of the Governor-elect to qualify, or of the absence from the State of a Governor in office, or the Governor’s inability to discharge the duties of the office, or the Governor’s impeachment, the functions, powers, duties and emoluments of the office shall devolve upon the Lieutenant Governor, until the Governor-elect qualifies, or the Governor in office returns to the State, or is no longer unable to discharge the duties of the office, or is acquitted, as the case may be, or until a new Governor is elected and qualifies.  In the event that the Lieutenant Governor in office is absent from the State, or is unable to discharge the duties of the office, or is impeached, or if the Lieutenant Governor-elect fails to qualify, or if there is a vacancy in the office of Lieutenant Governor, the functions, powers, duties, and emoluments of the office of Governor shall devolve upon the President of the Senate.  In the event there is a vacancy in the office of the President of the Senate, or of the Senate President’s absence from the State, inability to discharge the duties of the office, or impeachment, then such functions, powers, duties, and emoluments shall devolve upon the Speaker of the General Assembly. In the event there is a vacancy in the office of Speaker of the General Assembly, or of the Speaker’s absence from the State, inability to discharge the duties of the office, or impeachment, then such functions, powers, duties, and emoluments shall devolve upon such officers and in the order of succession as may be provided by law.  The functions, powers, duties, and emoluments of the office of Governor shall devolve upon the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the General Assembly or another officer, as the case may be, until the Governor-elect or Lieutenant Governor-elect qualifies, or the Governor or Lieutenant Governor in office returns to the State, or is no longer unable to discharge the duties of the office, or is acquitted, or until a new Lieutenant Governor is appointed, as the case may be, or a new Governor or Lieutenant Governor is elected and qualifies.
Article V, Section I, paragraph 7 amended effective January 17, 2006.
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1 Comment

Posted by on December 29, 2010 in Politics

 

One response to “Some thoughts on snow and government

  1. betty beach

    December 29, 2010 at 20:09

    until you revise your posting allow me to make a point: you wrote “in todays world of cell phones, Skype connections, the ability to remote access your office and everything else, the actual location of the Governor is irrelevant.”
    not quite right…in NJ the gov can only perform his duties when he is physically in the state and not by cell phone skype or other telecommunication wizardry…”The governor’s powers must be executed from within the state, according to Article 5, Secti…on 1, Paragraph 7 of the state Constitution.”

     

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