All Dressed Up and No One Is Impressed

Sheriff Laurie finally got a new mugshot. It’s only been how many years since she was photographed in uniform? I will bet the uniform was gone over with a fine tooth comb by someone in her management team before she put it on. Especially since the last time she wore her formal jacket it had old patches everyone else had to change out in 2005. Why the new photo? Probably because her political consoler told her, “No one knows who you are anymore because your published pictures don’t look like you.” Finally, someone told the emperor they were not wearing any clothes. The reality is people don’t know who the Sheriff is. More on that in another post.

Isn’t it amazing what election season brings out in an incumbent? You don’t hear or see them at all until they want your vote. It’s good we have elections on a regular basis because in the spirit of our economy, it brings competition. We have the opportunity to see what new technology has created, what changes in the marketplace have done to pricing and supply, different ways of delivering service, and a chance to look for other products to fill our needs.

trabant2

Take for example the ill fated Trabant. It seemed like a good idea at the time. It was a very inexpensive car. Rolling it off the lot was probably like any other new car. There is nothing quite like that new car smell. The Trabant was good for a while; drove great, light on the pocket book, got you where you needed to go. But after a while you start to have engine problems. The wheel bearings start grinding and need to be replaced. The suspension starts falling apart and it feels like your bouncing on a pogo stick.

You dump more and more money into the car thinking you can maintain your investment, all the while trying to convince yourself it is better than buying a new car. You miss appointments because your car keeps dying on the road; able to pass everything but a service station. You can’t even get spare parts because they don’t make them anymore. At some point you finally decide that the cost of the Trabant is too great and the frustration of loosing access to transportation is intolerable. You dump the car. By the time you add all the costs of repair and lost time you paid three times over for that Trabant.

The next car you buy you take time the time to do your homework and figure out what car will provide the greatest value, factoring in the ongoing costs of maintenance and operation, features, gas mileage, etc. Why? Because you learned the value of a car is measured in its total cost, comfort, and reliability. You can’t get business done and be successful with a car that is always breaking down.

Just like the Trabant, Sheriff Laurie seemed like a good idea at the time. And like the Trabant, she worked out for a while. Right now, the engine has been repaired over ten times and we can’t find any more parts to fix it. How much money are we going to dump into Sheriff Laurie to keep her running? How much more money will she cost the County for failed investigations and poor management? How much more grief will Sheriff Laurie cause victims in Santa Clara County with poor management that results in an impotent public safety response.

The Sheriff’s Office manages over $300 million in taxpayer money every year. It is time to reevaluate what the market has available and stop wasting our time and money with Sheriff Laurie.

*Phantom

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