Seattle gives you three choices: Eat all your dinner, have a smelly compost bin, or pay a fine


Happy planet, happy composter, happy flies.

There’s a lot not to love about compost bins: The smell. The fruit flies. The general ick factor. The Seattle City Council has a response to your concerns:  Get used to it or else. Continue reading


Who’s the looniest city in America? Introducing The MoonPie Award

First Prize. A dozen Original Marshmallow Sandwiches for you, a dozen for your favorite local politicians.

First Prize. A dozen Original Marshmallow Sandwiches for you, a dozen for your favorite local politicians.

So your city council is going to pass a resolution honoring the 71st birthday of the United Nations,  but is too busy to fix a pothole that broke three axles last month. Continue reading

I say “Resilient Communities” like it’s a bad thing


The other day, I came across an innocuous-looking website that easily costs America’s cities and counties billions in wasteful projects, and billions more in lost business opportunities. It’s called Resilient Communities for America. Continue reading

Become a City Manager, pay yourself $1.5 million a year, go to jail for six years, keep your pension


RIZZOIn 2010, Robert Rizzo, the Chief Administrative Officer of Bell, CA became the poster boy for local officials who rob taxpayers blind and get away with it because local news is the least-read section of the paper. Continue reading

The Ooze and Cruise method of filling local government seats


What do Barstow, Cotati, Dublin, Dunsmuir, Monrovia, Richmond, Santa Maria, and Santa Rosa have in common, besides all being in California? In the first few months of this year, they have each carried out a method of cronyism that I call the Ooze and Cruise Method. Continue reading

Dixon, IL Comptroller embezzles $53 million to buy horses


In Richard Daley’s Chicago of the 50s, greed, corruption, and embezzling by local Democrats was widely accepted as business as usual, and that tradition continues in Illinois to this day. How widely accepted? A friend who was born in Chicago tells this story: Continue reading

Cotati Stategic Planning Study Session features little studying and no strategies


Note: This is the column that got me fired as an irregular columnist for a local newspaper, before it even ran.Welcome to Cotati

What could be better than spending three hours on Tuesday night at a City of Cotati Strategic Planning Study Session? Spending two hours. Actually, 10 minutes would have been even better, because that was the amount of time that involved either strategies, or the study thereof. Continue reading

Want to take back the country? Start by taking back your own back yard.


Some things look wonderful when seen up close.
Local governments are usually not among them.

If you think the Federal Government is acting more like a helicopter parent every day, I’m convinced that liberals in city and county governments do far more damage to our freedom than other politicians could dream of.  Recently, the City of San Francisco made a clumsy attempt to outlaw Happy Meals because they have too many grams of fat for every Batman toy included, but they’re seriously considering a proposal to build a housing project for homeless alcoholics where the building manager will make beer runs for residents who are too drunk to stumble to the liquor store. Continue reading