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  • Last modified 2311 days ago (July 18, 2012)

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A prayer of a chance

In our spam folder today was a request — forwarded via the e-mail system of a widely used government bean-counter and originating from the e-mail system of a regional economic development agency — urging us to join a huge new movement: an Internet chain letter asking everyone who receives it to pray for rain.

Ignore whether government contractors and government agencies should be using official e-mail accounts to make God out to be a judge from “American Idol,” forced to change His plan because of the sheer number of people arguing for theirs. We do need rain, and at least someone is trying to do something about it.

It’s somewhat like Marion’s city administrator, fresh off his conquest of garbage pickup, unilaterally decreeing an end to weeks of debate over a radio tower by issuing a proclamation, without a vote of any of the governmental bodies that actually have authority over the matter. We need a tower. So what if he winks at the law, ignores elected and appointed bodies, and railroads it through as if he, the adminstrator, were He, the Almighty. There is, after all, precedent. The same type of procedures are what led to the selling of naming rights to Central Park and created a lawsuit that forced the city into allowing a truck parking lot.

Also home to an illegally considered $100,000-a-year superintendent’s salary, Marion is by no means the only place where government officials seem to rule by divine right. Centre, despite even worse test scores, just raised its superintendent’s salary to $98,880 and gave all its employees a minimum raise (plus additional amounts they will get for seniority) that’s nearly twice the cost of living. And it did this before considering any other needs for people like — oh, you know, students.

Something needs to be done. Voters have to decide: Will they continue to be part of the problem or try to do something and become part of the solution.

— ERIC MEYER

Last modified July 18, 2012

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