Letter to the Editor

Corruption, Taj Mahal and catfish

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

To the editor:

Facebook reveals at P.B. council Nov. 4 that I requested unanimous consent to speak on a matter just about to be voted on. Not one of the legitimate seven objected, but an UNCOUTH dude usurped the authority of the gavel and told me TWICE to be seated.

The following are my words which I was so UNLAWFULLY denied:

My name is on 16 - 5 years in this room, I offered to explain corruptions, AKA conflict of interest AKA influence peddling but had no takers.

Here goes anyway. In national politics, I tend to be 51% Dem versus 49% Rep, so I hope what is being alleged about Hunter Biden and Uncle Joe is not true. Unfortunately, the appearance is overwhelming. Locally if and when a council person or other person of renown or authority has a son, grandson, good friend or other relative who is unemployed or somewhat unemployable has been tentatively offered a lucrative or not so lucrative, but do-nothing job in an institution or business that is in process of trying to sell a property or to land a contract to build something, whom, other than God, or the fly on the wall is to be any wiser as to whether or not, Junior’s potential windfall plays a part in “Uncle Joe’s” decision in the matter or any other of you fellows.

A former council person called my attention to such things as feasibility studies and consultations at extravagant costs. A different former council person told me he had been offered cash for a vote. Previously citizens on this floor have questioned big consult fees.

My answer to that is:

Folks, that’s where the corruption comes in. I think I recently read that a consult fee could be a percentage of the project cost. Just how dumb do they think we are? Just how distracted or inattentive do they think we are? In war, or natural disasters, we often pay qualified entities their costs plus a percentage to resolve in emergency, but building a Taj Mahal for pencil pushers and paper shufflers is not an emergency requirement.

A police department should be and could easily be across from the county jail and within walking distance of muny court. We have the space, let’s use it.

John Stanard’s piece is excellent. Funny, I cannot recall hearing from him before on the subject. However, I doubt the bank will take 18 per for the choice 4, leaving it stuck with the rest. It took a bath some time back when it financially backed a speculative venture in the area. Now the directors think they have found someone, mainly you fabulous 4, even less astute than they were. I am not a religious person, but I could pray that the next big one would shift some of my 7 acres in Butler County just inches above the flood plains closer to town where I would be proud to let it go for half of that for a ground training area or a “green area” if that is what the park department really, really needs. $18,000 per acre for a piece of land suitable for scooping out a pond for a catfish farm.

Elvis popularized the term “give me a break.” Bill Clinton used that a lot. I say to those of you obsessed with throwing away our money, “GIVE US A BREAK!”

p.s. Another fine piece, John, but I had my heart set on raising catfish. Do you suppose we could handle bullfrogs AND catfish in the same body of water?

Chester Pumphrey

Poplar Bluff