Monday, February 13, 2017

Usage Billing

Remember the early days of Cellular Phone service? No, not the days of Moto Bag Phones, but that period in time when every text message you sent, every message you received cost you around seven cents. Remember that? There were even laws passed to ban unsolicited messages sent to your phone.

And you want to know something? Not a single cell phone provider had any problem counting the number of text messages or sending you a bill that matched up. Not. A. One. Then it got more complicated as competition forced plans with blocks of "free" messages before per message charges applied. This was counting AND separating charges by the number of that count. Sounds like something a fifth grader could do, doesn't it?

Well maybe DeKalb County should hire some fifth graders to work in and run their water billing department because they sure as hell cannot get it right. And this isn't some brain fart of competence due to a retirement bubble of baby boomers. This is systemic and longstanding. This is cultural. It is a culture of anti-meritocracy where factors totally unrelated to supporting the department mission push aside factors that might lead to a competent operation. Not efficient. Not optimized. Just competent.

And it has not been tolerated, it has been fostered and will continue to be fostered as rooting out incompetence must, perforce, roll back decades of preferential treatment, cronyism and set asides. It is political suicide and when the county is run by someone who openly admits his political infection can only be cured by formaldehyde we can rest assured this problem will grow. As hard as it is to believe he can and will make it worse. He will not replace the incompetents any more than Trump will put down the tweeter. He will grow government attempting to "augment" the barnacles of incompetence with enough who are capable enough to mask the heritage of failure covering up for those who installed it and excusing those who commit it.

In DeKalb County it is humanly possible to do better but not with the humans we have available.