We have some serious financial problems in Nevada.
The state and the counties are all facing serious revenue shortfalls—some of them actually real even after all the smoke and mirror government accounting.
We have a modest suggestion, the source of which may not be appreciated by certain groups, but, nonetheless, it has proven its value and cannot be overlooked.
Like him or hate him, Maricopa County (AZ) Sheriff Joe Arpaio has saved the taxpayers of that county millions and millions of dollars while increasing the level of services with his Sheriff’s Posse—a non taxpayer-funded organization through which citizens contribute their services to the County.
The radio operators run a very sophisticated communications operation.
The K-9 specialists train their own dogs and volunteer to supplement K9 Officers.
There is a Jeep Posse which can send hundreds of well equipped vehicles anywhere for a variety of policing activities.
In fact, a citizen who has a clean history can find many different ways in and around Phoenix, to volunteer and save tax dollars all at the same time.
You know who hates this idea?
Government employee unions. Like we should care.
Our question is why should this idea be limited to law enforcement?
Why can’t the State ask high dollar accounting firms to loan employees to the public utilities commission or the gaming commission to see if the state is getting its due from companies who are always armed with more and better accounting help than the state has?
Couldn’t the DMV use 40 or 50 extra volunteers at the offices it can’t run?
Why can’t Clark County—instead of hiring more $168,000 a year firefighters—use some volunteers, the way it works in rural departments?
And what about education at all levels?
Do you really think that you could not find volunteers to help teachers in the classroom?
Or even fully qualified teachers to teach specialty subjects?
(I can just hear the organizers from AFCSME, SEIU and the Nevada Education Association, now.)
The fact is that Americans love to volunteer.
And the reason we will have to ram this idea through the legislature and many County Commissions and School Boards is two fold.
First, it goes against the interests of the government employee unions which got Clark County Firefighters to $168,000 a year and use massive amounts of campaign contributions to keep getting people elected who will continue to feather their nests.
And second, there is always a prevailing smugness by many in government that somehow, they always know more than the citizens they purport to serve.
Not Sheriff Joe!
His Posse is a raging success.
Here’s a non Sheriff Joe reason to consider this.
Some years ago, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission got some volunteer help from high dollar accounting firms to audit the rate base of Southwestern Bell Telephone. They found pieces of equipment being included in the rate base from the 1940s which had, of course, long been disposed of and the result was a huge refund paid to the citizens by the company.
If ours is truly a government of the people, by the people and for the people, then the people ought to be able to volunteer to help the government and reduce the costs.