Municipal Morons Muck Matters Up

This morning we have a couple instances of wasteful and/or stupid government at work. From the Miami Herald's Amy Sherman, we have the story of county hall west. It was supposed to be a "one-stop shop" for government permits and licenses in Plantation but instead is a ghost town, municipally speaking. Why? Because the county bought the building expecting that the beverage company renting half of it would vamoose. No such luck. It renewed its lease and there's not a damn thing the county can do about it. At least assistant county administrator Dick Brossard admitted he screwed up. [Update: Sherman did a nice story on this, but so did the Sun-Sentinel's county reporter Scott Wyman ... last week. Here's his ditty.]

The second involves code enforcement officers. Now the Pulp isn't down on code enforcers. They have a job to do -- and sometimes they save the day. But the overzealous types, well, they can be the biggest, most anti-American pains in ass (especially on the wallet-side cheek) that ever lived. They can swoop down on your property and fine you thousands while nitpicking you with some rule that nobody really cares about. Basically, the most important traits for code enforcement officers to have are cool and restraint. Fort Lauderdale, which has a history of bad code enforcement, too often lacks that in spades. The story, as told by the Sun-Sentinel's Alexia Campbell, begins with some yahoo's anonymous letter complaining about outdoor tables on Las Olas. The code enforcement office should have taken this anonymous letter and quietly tucked it away in the trash. Instead, Manager Mike Maloney ordered several restaurants to move their tables inside, killing both business and cty ambiance.

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