Thursday, January 20, 2011

No New Taxes

My friend, Veronica, the woman I do far too much project work for, convinced me to write a proposal with her to conduct a couple of surveys for a governmental transportation agency. We wrote the proposal, and yesterday was our meeting to "sell" ourselves and our capabilities to a four-member panel. Now, we read the RFP, and we felt pretty damn qualified to do the work, particularly in light of the fact that we conducted a huge survey for that same agency that wrapped up about a year ago.

What a farce. There we were, being asked questions about our experience in writing ballot measures and the electorate and political polling. Huh? What we thought was a fairly straightforward project relating to getting public opinion about transportation and transit needs in the county in question turned out to be anything but that. They could give a shit what the public wanted with regard to those issues. They only wanted to get a sales tax increase re-upped and extended 20 years, fully eight years before the current sales tax increase expires.

At one point, I wanted to just say, "Clearly, we're not the ones you're looking for. We're the type of people who read RFPs and then respond to them, not getting the hidden meaning behind the words. Obviously, we didn't get the decoder ring that went along with the RFP."

It was laughable. Veronica thought it was humiliating, although she did appreciate some of my humorous responses to the questions. "Who do you think won't support such a measure?" one of the paid-by-your-tax-dollars panel members asked. "Uh, Republicans. Tea Partiers," I responded.

Back in the day, when I was far less jaded and far more driven and far more all about winning projects, I would have been reliving that meeting for months, wincing at how it went down.

Now? I can't stop chuckling about it. And recommitting to never voting for another sales tax increase put forth by any governmental agency as long as I live. Why the extension request years in advance? So they can ensure their future employment. Screw the wants and needs of county residents.

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