Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Kearney Nebraska

This is the GREAT PLATTE RIVER ROAD ARCHWAY MONUMENT. It sprawls across Interstate 80 just east of Kearney Nebraska. It was one of the starring locations in Jack Nicholsons movie "About Schmidt." Good movie btw. It was filmed in Nebraska.
You can click here to start a brief tour of the facility.
The attraction takes you from the beginning of 'civilized' man (I believe that would be the first Republican to enter the state) , up to the present. A herd of Buffalo will run over the top of you and other such things of interest. The history of Nebraska's part in the westward expansion is pretty well documented.
Our conference was about two miles west of this monument near the interstate.
The lessons we learned were numerous and varied. The State Attorney General's representative was as usual, one of the highlights. He is a good speaker and everyone listens closely to him because he relates how other county boards get into trouble. He said most people who contact him about problems with a board, are already mad about something besides what they called about. He said he can tell right away when a citizen is mad, because they usually want the board sued and then killed.
We have a new Open Meetings Law in Nebraska. It was written because it was just too darned easy being in public office. The new law fixed that.
The Assistant AG related that one board was accused of violating the Open Meetings law by going to lunch, as a group at an uptown diner after their regular meetings. "Those guys are holding another meeting down there where the public can't hear whats going on and I want you to do something." The citizen reported to the A.G. He said the board fixed it by including the diner as one of the venues for the meeting and advertised the meetings that way. From then on the public was invited to eat with the supervisors immediately following every meeting. We learned more about the bidding process, budgets, conflicts of interest, and really tired rears.
The final speaker was with the Dept of Health, and Human Social Services. (HHSS) An agency the Governor promised to 'get control of' and to reign in. It really worked. The number of folks employed by HHSS will fall from 5200 and go to 6200. That worked. This is a massive program for a state of our size, and is out of control. I sit on another board that gets their money from HHSS and our budgeted amount from them was $17M last year and we are just one, on the long list of service groups connected to this agency. The really troubling thing about this is that the Dept. is merely doing what any good family would and should be doing for itself. Yes, some services are vital for us as a society to perform. In the 60's, at the beginning of the age of entitlement, was the beginning of the end, I fear. I don't think the Government can/or should try to be all things to all people. We probably need to take a little personal responsibility for ourselves.
Up Next: Cliff's Perfect World!


LZ Blogger said...

Cliff - I am a fan of the old Alexander Payne movies and have been under (but not through) the Arch in Kearney on I-80. ~ jb///

Cliff Morrow said...

You should give it a try. Especially if they get the Exit problem fixed.

Paul said...

Interesting. Hmmm. I've been writing several Senators, Governors, congresspersons and the like, complaining about the foul treatment that Border Patrolmen Ramos and Compeon got. Ugh.

Anyway, you convinced me I should put a weather doo-hickey on my blog. I also put one on My Other Blog, Douglas, AZ. Like you, I'm quite a techy, eh?

Lee said...

Hear! Hear! Cliff...the 'age of entitlement' really started here in the early seventies with Labor prime minister, Gough Whitlam came into power...he thought handing out 'goodies' to everyone would hold him in good stead...all he started was an avalanche that is still occurring today. He was kicked out of office, before an election and before the end of his term...on my birthday! It was one of the best birthday presents I've ever received!

What a wonderful looking building.

Wiley Ol' Jerry said...

Well it sounds like you learned a few things at your meeting. That's always good.

You've also given your blog a crisp new look. It looks great.

Britmum said...

Oh my goodness Cliff you are such a cute in that piccie of you. Aww I just want to squeeze those cheeks.

I will be intelligent for five minutes and say what a great post.

Take care xx

Peter said...

Some pretty deep stuff in there Cliff, important lessons to be learned from others mistakes as well as our own.

Rachel said...

Love the new look of your blog and your cute little picture there!! How darling!! I'm with Britmum and want to pinch your cheeks!!

-7 degrees there??? Lordy Mercy!!! It was 50's yesterday here with oodles of rain and now it's in the 20's with snow flurries.

I am off for stitches out so can't read your post now so I'll be back.....

Rachel said...

In the picture you look a little like Alfalfa!!!

Cliff Morrow said...

Rachel I prefer your bad weather to mine.
Yes I was taunted with Alfalfa a lot when I was young.
I'm glad to see your Dr has kept you in stitches but it is time to have them out. Hope it doesn't hurt.

Dan said...

Your blog looks different, did you change something?

Ralph's Homespun Headlines said...

Sounds like an interesting meeting. Unlike Britmum and Rachael, I'll leave your cheeks alone.

Michael said...

WOW! I like the re-design, Cliff. It looks great.

I suppose when the Board of Supervisors opened the Diner as a venue, they had to stop riding over there together in the Black Helicopter, too. It's getting harder and harder to put together a good conspiracy anymore - the sheeple are just getting too darn insightful. Dang!

Jim said...

I see you picked a template similar to mine. I changed the color to Republican Blue as I didn't like that other party orange.
Did the new Blogger cut you back to only a whole year at a time for archives? Or will you be adjusting it?
Dial-up will be all day bringing up your archives.
I am holding out in changing till I see how you guys like it.
Probably there isn't any good FREE alternative.

I'm glad you enjoyed Kearney. Texas has had the Open Meetings Act since the 1970s. It works fine here.

Ralph's Homespun Headlines said...

I HAD to make the Switch. After we talked this AM I could not log on until I switched to the beta version. Stopped by tomorrow to read the exciting conclusion of "I've been Goggled". Anyway I am just seeing if I can leave a comment here - can't on a lot of other blogs.

Rachel said...

Okay, I'm back again. I saw the movie "About Schmidt" and I liked it. Somewhere I saw this archway monument on TV....maybe on the History Channel? It is very nice, a beautiful building.

Sounds like your meetings were interesting and you did pay attention!! A+ for you on that! I think your last 2 sentences says it all.

Bossy♥'s YOU said...

i like the new look..and i LOVE your picutre.

great post to BTW...I hate having to think, but its all good;)

Miki said...

Looks like a great place to visit when you are "passing thru." excuse the pun! Hope that your meetings were informative, I mean that you had a great amount of info to take with you and that it will help you! Glad you are back, Cliff!

Raggedy said...

I like the new blog look. Thank you for the wonderful tour. I really enjoyed that.
Thank you for sharing the highlights of your meetings.
Interesting post.
Welcome Home!

Jamie Dawn said...

I'd like to see the speaker's outline and your notes on the part about "really tired rears."

I won't have a new post up until the weekend. I've been too busy the past few days, and I'm using whatever spare time I have to visit blog buddies.
Stop by JD's this weekend!! That's me, BTW. :)

You are obviously putting New Blogger to work for you. Nice, new look.

Paul said...

Nice looking blog page, by the way.

nora said...

Great new blog look.
I (the tree-hugging liberal) agree with your thoughts on entitlement.
I’m not sure how to fix it, but I think some of those services can happen with out government help.
We feed 2900 people every day and train adults for meaningful careers in the foodservice industry all with no local, state or federal money.
Speaking of that…back to work for me!