Tanner Andrews mug

Tanner Andrews

Learning something in Deltona

OK, who wants to go first? Somebody needs to say something stupid so he can be held up as an example in front of the whole class.

Ah, someone has his hand up. Thank you, Chris Nabicht of Deltona. Glad you could take a break from licking the city manager’s boots, to show off your preparedness.

Your explanation of priorities is a great learning opportunity for the rest of the class. You say the city should talk to its insurance company before hearing from citizens, because “Our first duty is the protection of the city.”

Get up from the floor, Mr. Nabicht. Tear yourself away from Ms. Shang’s tasty boots, and look out across the meeting room. Your first duty is to work for the benefit of the citizens. Protecting government from citizens should rank below reviewing the snowplow contract, but above running the shredder to hide City Manager Shang’s current residence address.

Talking to the insurance company also has to come after finding out who they are. That may prove difficult: Even given two nights to do their homework, neither management nor the mayor could find the name of their insurance company. Should we be reassured because these doofuses (doofii?) are not going to make a claim causing rates to rise, or should we be worried that they will raise taxes?

Either way, there is neglect of duty. Government is supposed to answer to the citizens and taxpayers, not to some flighty administrator fleeing a dubious Texas past.

That reminds me, maybe we should check Shang’s contract for similar golden-parachute provisions.

Right now, commissioners are probably still trying to hide disappointment in the sales-tax vote. They were so much hoping for more money, and never imagined that people would not trust them. Even an average student knows it is a bad strategy to tell the teacher “shut up and trust me” when he has not read the lesson.

It is easy to pick on Nabicht. He did not do the assignment before running for office, and it shows. However, he is not alone in having inverted ideas of governance.

Remember, statistically speaking, about half the people are going to be below average. Someone has to finish last in their class. Chris Nabicht may have been a slow student, but now we know what he is thinking — it sure is embarrassing when everyone sees you did not learn the assignment.

— Andrews is a DeLand-area attorney and a longtime government critic. For purposes of the column, he finds it convenient that there is so much government to criticize.