Our all-Republican Loudoun Board of Supervisors, elected with a half million bucks from developers and Chamber of Commerce types, has been reminding us ad nauseam for the past year not only how “business-friendly” they are (example: giving away $2 million of your tax money to the Washington Redskins to help them leave the county) but also how “businesslike” they are in running government.
But in fact, their idea of running something “like a business” actually in practice means running it like a cartoon version of a business: making decisions in secret and on the fly; cutting backroom deals that benefit cronies; spending huge amounts of time and money inventing a “brand image” for themselves; and punishing subordinates who tell the truth.
In several recent instances, we are reliably informed by county staffers who fear they will be fired if the stories can be traced to them so we have to leave it vague for now, employees who attempted to bring up completely truthful and objective information that questioned the wisdom of controversial pending Board actions were reprimanded – or ordered to keep the information out of the public record altogether.
Of course, real businesses these days know that success results from open lines of communication, empowering employees, and transparency in decision making. Our local Republican politicians, however, have been taking their cues apparently from Donald Trump doing a bad parody of Donald Trump for the entertainment of the television-watching public.
Not a good way to run a business — or a government.