"This is seriously twisted and way too sophisticated for most people..... I think it should be read by ALL and called, (drum roll)..... A Florida Grass Root Philosophy and Punditry Guide"
-David Bradford, EdD
Did you ever wonder how our federal government got into such a mess? Mr. Groome has shown how we got to where we are by painting a vivid picture of small town politics. At every level and more often than not, people get elected for the wrong reasons. More importantly they seek office for all the wrong reasons. And tragically, the electorate is comfortable with the status quo and rarely interested in expending the energy to find the truth. Mr. Groome's novel is all too real. He tells a story with objective style while tickling your funny bone and evoking outrage. His picture of local politics is a microcosm of governments everywhere. When you read it, you may find yourself associating his characters with people you know.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.75(d)|
Read an Excerpt
THE GUY THAT DOES THE THING
Observations, Deliberations, and Confessions
By W. C. Andrew Groome
iUniverse LLCCopyright © 2014 W. C. Andrew Groome
All rights reserved.
Unlike real cities that have a real history, [MCFLMosFB] is a plot of land that was filed with [GVBMNTFL] in 1957AD so that a few people could prevent the area from becoming a beachside trailer park, or [BST]. After the status of [MCFLMosFB] was granted, the city council, [CC], passed its very first ordinance which prohibited the establishment of [BST]s. Since then, many other ordinances have been passed by [CC], but, for the most part, they are exactly like [MCFLMosFB]'s very first ordinance in that a few individuals want what they want, and they use the governing process to get it.
Rarely, if ever, has an ordinance been passed that really considers an entire community. Not just in terms of what people want, but whether or not people can afford the ever-increasing Ad Valorem Tax Millage Rate that compounds the increase in the amount of Ad Valorem Tax paid because the property values also increase.
With that being said, none of the stuff [CC] has done is stuff [TGTDTT] really cares about. [TGTDTT] would prefer that the Ad Valorem Tax Millage Rate was low, but [TGTDTT] can afford it, and living in a [MC] has a cost and [TGTDTT] has learned that some stuff costs more, and you have to pay the price for what you want.
But ... [TGTDTT] is uncomfortable with the way in which [MCFLMosFB] business is conducted. [TGTDTT] is uncomfortable with a small group of people deciding who is going to be on [CC]. [TGTDTT] is uncomfortable knowing that [CC] meets in private to decide how [CC] is going to vote before the meetings. If for no other reason, private meetings violate Sunshine Laws. [TGTDTT] is uncomfortable with a [CA] who has been paid a great deal of [USD] to attend meetings but only engages when specifically asked, and then claims he was not involved in the decisions that were made right in front of him. Last but not least, [TGTDTT] is uncomfortable with people who, because they are unable to argue the merits of their particular position, resort to personal attacks. But that is [TGTDTT].
[LG] and [MC]
In [TGTDTT]'s journey and studies of [MC]s in [GSoF], the approach that seems to keep stuff from getting too confused is to map everything to [B], because everything has to be paid for in some way and at some time. Every park, person, police vehicle, and parade impacts [MC]'s [B]. Any effort to disconnect [MC] service levels and capability from the Budget, [B], is naive if the person is new to such stuff, or dishonest if the person is experienced in such stuff.
Every successful organization has mastery of [B] and all unsuccessful organizations have demonstrated an inability to properly implement [B]. If you don't believe this, the rest of the book has no value to you because you believe in magic fairies that can seemingly create something from nothing and that you can get stuff that nobody has to pay for. If you do see merit in viewing the world through [B], if only for a little while, then continue reading.
The [B]s prepared by [MC] in [GSoF] are required to adhere to the accounting guidelines mandated by [GVBMNTFL]. Every single [USD] that comes in as [MCRev] or distributed, as [MCExp] must be accounted for in a very specific way as defined by Department of Financial Services. These guidelines are extremely specific and comprehensive but they do give [MC] some latitude to do special stuff. It is law that all [USD] that comes into and out of [MC] must pass through one or more defined [MCFUND]s. The list of [MCFUND]s that the FY1213 [B]s passed by every [MC] in [GSoF] is given below.
001 General Fund
005 Governmental Activities [GOVBMNT]-Wide Financial Reporting)
050 Permanent Funds
100 Special Revenue Funds
200 Debt Service Funds
300 Capital Projects Funds
400 Enterprise Funds
500 Internal Service Funds
600 Agency Funds
650 Pension trust Funds
700 Investment trust Funds
750 Private purpose trust Funds
800 Revolving Funds / Clearing Funds
900 General Fixed Assets Account Group 1
950 General Long-Term Debt Account Group 1
The next level of granularity is the Account Code, in which there is a set of Account Codes for the various [MCRev] and a separate set for [MCExp]. For example, Account Code 311000 refers to Ad Valorem Tax (property taxes) and Account Code 518 refers to [PenBen].
The financial people who work for the [MC] must track every single [USD] that comes in and goes out with these account codes and at the end of the fiscal year, everything must balance out. For example, assume the [MC] brought in $5,000,000 in Ad Valorem Tax Revenue and only spent $4,500,000 on stuff so that $500,000 was left over. The [CM] would be required to notify the [CC] that [USD] was not spent, and to give the [CC] options as to what to do with the excess [USD]. [CC] could pay off some debt (Account Code 517), upgrade some office equipment for the City Clerk (Account Code 511), or do something else. Whatever [CC] and [CM] decide to do, they must account for every [USD] in accordance with this system or get the undivided attention of someone sitting at a desk in [GVBMNTFL]. The person sitting at the desk in [GVBMNTFL] can sign a piece of paper that results in someone being put in the back of a police car at least once in his or her life.
This is how stuff is done in every [MC] in [GSoF]. For every source of [MCRev], there is an equation for calculating current values and therefore a method of predicting future [MCRev]. For every [MCExp], there is data that can be trended to predict future [MCExp]. There is no reason that this information is not made readily available to citizens so that [CitComm]s are informed, and expected future [MCExp] is accounted for ... Unless being completely forthcoming is not in the best interests of [CC] or [CM].
[TGTDTT] was sort of wrong about the way the world really worked in the fall of YR11. Not so wrong about the rules, but wrong about how the rules are applied, prioritized, disregarded, or the mastery of the rules by the people who lived by them. [TGTDTT] came to understand that the essential qualities of [MCFLMosFB] were identical to those of the Vatican at the time of the Crusades, Protestant Reformation, Inquisition, and dare I say, silence about the Holocaust in exchange for sparing Vatican City. The difference is in scale and degree, but what you essentially have is a group of zealots that will go to any extreme to achieve glory.
But there is this story that the Vatican likes to tell about a very special person who showed the world that real glory is the complete absence of fear and an overflowing abundance of [LOVE]. Other groups like to tell that story as well. Some of them change it up a little and claim their own author that was divinely inspired, but it is the same story. Where the fun begins is how far the group is willing to go if a person chooses to listen to a different group tell that story.
Then [TGTDTT] met [FicChaTen], who pointed [TGTDTT] in the direction towards understanding stuff a bit better and giving [TGTDTT] the confidence and opportunity to make stuff better for the community in which [TGTDTT] lives and pays taxes.
Right now stuff is not looking very good for future [MCFLMosFB] finances and the people elected in [ELCTN12] to give guidance to [CM] are at best incompetent and at worst, corrupt.
What [TGTDTT] discovered was an awareness that gave some credence to [FicChaTen]'s statements. The general agreement of [FicChaTen] statements with [TGTDTT]'s awareness, [TGTDTT]'s respect for [FicChaTen]'s past record as [ColUSAF], and a sincere affection for [FicChaTen] combined to inspire [TGTDTT] to thinking [TGTDTT] should help [FicChaTen] be successful in what [FicChaTen] wanted to accomplished.
In the case of [MCFLMosFB] in the fall of YR11, there was no detailed reporting or justification of [MCFLMosFB] expenses, [MCFLMosFB] revenues or Ad Valorem Tax Millage Rate used to generate Ad Valorem Tax Revenue. There was also no [USD] or long-term plan for replacing [CapEq]. There was also a history of [CC] approving the purchase of property that [MCFLMosFB] did not need at exorbitant prices. The last big thing that was slapping [TGTDTT] in the face was a great deal of turbulence surrounding [CRA].
[MCFLMosFB] has been controlled since its incorporation by [CLB] which has never had more than sixteen members. There are five (5) on [CC] who represent the public face of [CLB]. Most, if not all of the department heads of [MCFLMosFB] are in [CLB]. The remaining members are distributed throughout the community as required for intelligence gathering. Everybody else; [MCFLMosFB] citizens, [MCFLMosFB] [EMP]s, [OwnProp]s, [OwnBus]s, and visitors are just tools, noise, or entertainment.
Believe it or not, [TGTDTT] is good with all this stuff going on as long [TGTDTT] has no firsthand knowledge that the [USD] [TGTDTT] is giving [MCFLMosFB] is being misspent. By the nature of their employment with the [MC], the Department Head's understand that getting caught in a lie is the end of their career. [MC] [EMP]s can be wrong all of the time, but their statements better be the truth. As least as best they understand it. The same is true for the [CM], and [CA]. The role of the [CC] as it appeared to [TGTDTT] in the fall of YR11 was to be advocates for [MCFLMosFB] [EMP] and not stewards of the taxes and fees collected from the citizens.
Rut Ro. Did [TGTDTT] admit to himself that his confidence in [MCFLMosFB] and [CC] had diminished? Does [TGTDTT] have reason to believe that he could influence the debate and possibly have his confidence in [GBMNT] restored? Is [TGTDTT] buying into his own press and starting to look for shots at glory himself?
[TGTDTT] is just going to put his head down on his desk and wait for the bell to ring so [TGTDTT] can get out of this Political Science class and into Jazz Band where he gets to play the music he loves.
The Fujiwhara Effect
The Fujiwhara effect, named after Sakuhei Fujiwhara, sometimes referred to as Fujiwara interaction or binary interaction, is when two nearby cyclonic vortices orbit each other and close the distance between the circulations of their corresponding low-pressure areas.
Breaking down the physics of the meteorological phenomena and viewing it from a more general point of view, [TGTDTT] proposes the Fujiwhara effect is present in other facets of his [REALITY]. [TGTDTT] proposes it is also present in the interrelationships between people, to include politics.
Consider a citizen with a goal of making sure that [MC] does not waste [USD]. Then consider another citizen who believe that [MC] Building Inspector is being obstinate when it comes to approving plans to renovate her boat dock. Now let both of these citizens run for seats on [CC] where there are two other candidates who are incumbents.
The first two candidates (A and B) know that for their individual goals to be achieved, they have to upset the status quo. The second two candidates (C and D) are running on a platform centered on the idea that they are doing a good job and things are going well. By the mere nature of things, candidates A and B will likely come together as one force, just as candidates C and D, will come together as one force. Then the election happens. Stuff gets all scrambled up and it starts all over when the next election cycle begins.
What is true about the meteorological phenomena, and an attempt to extend the idea to local politics, is that even the slightest perturbations in the various forces will prevent a merging that produces a single event that is greater than or equal to the sum of the individual events. In most cases, the unification is less powerful than the sum.
What also seems to be true of both the weather and politics is that nothing seems to really end. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to say exactly when stuff started, unless we assert that weather started when the earth was created and politics started when Mirror Fogging Carbon Units, [MFCU]s, began to walk upon the earth. However, the forces that created earth existed before the planet became a planet and, if you think Darwin was right, [MFCU]s are derived from something else.
But [TGTDTT] is here now and trying to make sense of at least one or two things. [TGTDTT] believes the Fujiwhara effect is present at every meeting throughout the country and the end result is just a continuation of confused ripples that think they are the ocean.
[TGTDTT] also submits that across the world, the Fujiwhara effect is discernible every time two or more people have ideas that cannot be accomplished without some help from some more people. This is true even when a person decides they want to be left alone. The only way that person can be left alone is if people choose to leave the person alone.
City Council Meetings are the same now as they were in the beginning of this fine nation. It is an opportunity for all citizens to stand up in front of their neighbors and wail -
[GVBMNT] won't leave citizens alone;
Neighbors won't leave citizen alone; and
As an American, a nation founded on the principal of being left alone as a right endowed by God, citizens should be left alone
Petition [GVBMNT] to go bother one or more neighbors because neighbors don't behave as they should
Petition [GVBMNT] to buy something a person thinks [GVBMNT] should have or
Petition [GVBMNT] to stop buying stuff the [GVBMNT] should no longer buy.
There is that word "should" that pops into every statement made by an unhappy person. On a side note, happy people rarely use the word should and use the word "is" instead. But that subject is for another day.
Each of the five people sitting at the front of the room on [CC] promised to uphold a solemn oath and serve the public to the best of their abilities within the constraints of [USFG] law, and [GVBMNTFL] law. These people want to make the world a better place for all of us. Yet none of those five people understand how everybody does not believe that [CC] are helping us and those same five people have decided to believe that we should understand that we need them to keep us safe.
[TGTDTT] imagines taking the minutes of every meeting that has ever taken place in the history of this great nation and processing them in a way toward seeing the commonalities. It is [TGTDTT]'s suspicion that applying a Freudian Dogma Filter would reveal that what is in play during every meeting is a sexual ritual that celebrates and glorifies the life of Oedipus in a very public way.
It is along that line of thought that a plausible case could be made that attending meetings could feed the same need as attending a live sex show. Being a part of the public action would be the same as acting in a live sex show. Assuming such were the case, the candidates elected to [CC] are the [StarPorn]s. The [CA] and [CM] are [ActorPorn] on long-term studio contracts who fill in when called upon by one of the [StarPorn]s. It must be understood that [CA] and [CM] will only be activated at the command of one or more members of [CC]. The people who speak at meetings are auditioning to be [StarPorn] or bit-players. Last but not least, are the people who make sure they get a really good seat in the audience. Well, you know who you are.
If you can hardly wait to sit in the very back of the room at the next meeting, you have a serious problem. The people who make a habit of speaking on "Agenda Items" have a problem too, but at least they don't try to hide theirs.
[TGTDTT] realized that he was not above being a [StarPorn] in YR11 and YR12, but the script had to be really really good for him to audition. When [ELCTN12] changed the line up of regular [StarPorn]s, [TGTDTT] no longer auditioned and stopped going to the theatre at all because he was not going to be the guy who sits in the back of the room. That is what we have [OBandSD] and [FicChaTwentyNine] for.
Excerpted from THE GUY THAT DOES THE THING by W. C. Andrew Groome. Copyright © 2014 W. C. Andrew Groome. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Note To reader, xiii,
The Guy That Does The Thing [TGTDTT], xv,
Old Beach and Surfer Dude [ObandSD], xvii,
No [BST], 1,
[LG] and [MC], 3,
The Fujiwhara Effect, 8,
[HurcanFran] and [HurcanJean], 34,
Tsongkhapa Passage, 41,
The Awakening, 51,
Welcome to [FBResMailGrp], 59,
Meeting [FicChaTen], 61,
[FicChaTen] [CC] [ELCTN11], 66,
Meet [FicChaSixteen], 87,
[FBWC] Candidate Forum YR11, 91,
We Need [COFFEE]!, 118,
[COFFEE] Charter, 122,
Fair Winds and following Seas, 141,
[COFFEERpt] (Excerpts), 146,
I Just Can't Do It Anymore, 196,
[FicChaTwelve] [CC] [ELCTN12], 200,
[FBWC] Candidate Forum 12, 243,
[FBWC] Candidate Forum 12, 268,
[FicChaTwelve] [CC] [ELCTN12] Final Push, 287,
You Have Got to be Kidding, 304,
My Fellow citizens, 306,
Filling the Seat, 316,
[FicChaTen]'s Predictions, 318,
Interlocal Agreement, 328,
Solving for [X], 331,
Author's Note, 337,
Glossary of Terms, 339,