This Plainfielder was struck by a comment on a recent Ledger story concerning Middlesex Borough's contemplation of tougher pay-to-play restrictions (see story here).
Commenting on the proposal to be tougher than the state by limiting the contributions of any firm doing business with the borough to $300, 'obiwanisback' says --
... [a] nice idea but it won't work. Just give the cash to your friend, neighbor or relative with a different last name and have them send the donation in...In Plainfield, the Council didn't even try to trump the state's weak pay-to-play rules.
What's worse, Plainfielders must face the charade of the 'fair and open process' of awarding contracts, where they are given -- without bidding -- to those on a list the administration has previously prepared and submitted to the Council for ratification.
Yet even where there are supposedly open public bidding procedures, bid-rigging goes on.
Someone, it seems, will always find a way to bend or break the rules.
Writing in NJ Newsroom, Jim Goodman points out that Alexis de Toqueville cast a sharp eye on American political corruption in his 1830s book and decided that it was a 'life-giving element of the system' (see article here).
Sisyphean though the task seems, my small-town heartland-of-America values demand keeping pushing the 'reform' ball uphill.
Is it worth it?
Albert Camus, reflecting on the myth of Sisyphus, condemned to eternally repeating the task of pushing a rock up a hill only to have to repeat the process when it rolls back, suggested that we should learn to 'love our rock', whatever it is.
What do you think?
Vote in the poll HERE (top of right-hand column).