discretionary money

There was one question that was asked of the Mayor which I didn’t include in my brief summary earlier today. A man asked the mayor about the “discretionary” money that officials have for making bribes. The Mayor politely offered examples of how that money has been used for good and attempted an explanation of the quick action with discretionary money as opposed to bureaucratic limbo. I don’t think the man was happy with the explanation.

Tennessee used to have Community Service Agencies who helped keep families intact. They were creative and resourceful, but their strongest asset was their discretionary funding. A single mother who was emotionally, physically and financially drained from 24/7 care for her special needs child needed respite. A respite provider just wasn’t available in the immediate future and the mother was considering putting the child in foster care. She talked to CSA. CSA enrolled the child in a weekly activity, paid the fee and arranged transportation. The mother got a few precious hours a week to buy groceries or just relax. It was a legitimate expense, but not one that could wait. Our politicians have discretionary funds for the same reason.

There are so many hyenas waiting to pounce on anyone who stumbles that we are missing all the good things people do. Insisting that bureaucratic paperwork nightmares replace good faith and judgment, we are cutting off our noses to spite our faces. Hey vultures, bad people will always find ways to lie, cheat and steal. You are only punishing the good people. Yes, there are some rotten apples in politics. For the most part though, they are decent people who are doing their best and sometimes making mistakes. Please stop making every little thing out to be a giant criminal conspiracy. For every criticism and complaint that you have levied at an elected official, have you thanked or praised another? Do you have any idea how mean and angry you appear? I am not a naive, bubble-headed hippie handing out flowers and flashing the peace sign. I have to work very hard not to get bitter about the nasty muck of everyday life. Getting beat down and struggling to stand back up is part of life. Spending all of your time attacking others is something else. Can we please, occasionally come up for air and try to find the good?

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