Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Ducks and Spending

With our increasingly data driven society it has become ever easier to delve deeply into arcane bits of information. The upside of which is that you begin to get a full and complete picture of what's actually going on in a system; the downside of which is that it is quite easy to become mired in the minutiae, and quickly spiral down into omphaloskepsis.* Alternatively, you may find yourself attacked at all angles by trival matters. We at The Bureaucracy call this "Death by Ducks", as it feels like you're slowly being nibbled to death... by... ducks....

Anywho, thanks to that bastion of Pittsburgh print media, the P-G, for alerting me to City Council's decision to put their invoices on the web. I was getting frustrated with Bill Peduto's accounting** and was happy to have this little diversion into Duck Death. I'm sure that all these invoices are legit, and their vendors are reputable, but on face value, they're almost kinda funny, actually:

  • Would you buy $275.00 worth of stuff from a place named "Honey Boy"? Sounds like something Gary Glitter would visit in Thailand.
  • What does General Services need with $39.60 worth of gas bottles? What the hell is a gas bottle anyway? If it is what I think it is, I'm sitting on a gold mine.
  • I hope to God that they didn't approve individual invoices at the Council Meetings, else the $1.36 invoice from Equifax Credit Services for records check seems ridiculous. Assuming an annual salary of 9 Councilpersons of about $53,687 each (roughly), the salary of my girl Linda Johnson-Wasler, the salary of, say, three union camera men filming the meeting, not including the sunk costs of the facilities, and assuming that the motion to aprove the invoice took about 3 seconds... the $1.36 invoice costs an additional $.29. Or so.
  • Who is Ray Sullivan, and why does he cost $250.00 for umpire services? And can he officiate the next Pirates game?
  • Sandra Davis, PhD. seems to do a lot of psychological consulting and stress management work for the Personel, EMS, and Police Departments. This should come as no surprise to anyone in City government. The Personel Department knows 653 ways of killing a man with his own hand.
  • Is $450 too much for Taser instruction or not? I would suggest not skimping on this, especially with the Personel Department still on the loose.
Well, at least we're not seeing $15,000 for "hookers" and $500 for "blow" or $1,600 for "cello". Although, now that I think about it, it would be funny to see a $4,000 invoice for marshmallow peeps. Or maybe that's me (I have been drinking).

$1,500 in Duck prevention would be worthwhile though.

* See Bill? It's not that hard.
** I can't get the Councilman's numbers to add up. I think he used pi or an e or an i or something.

No comments: