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Published: Thursday, 2/26/2004

Unigov can be simple, even for the uninformed

As phrases go, it s a clunker.

“Unigov.”

The idea has been floating around Mayor Jack Ford s head for some time. Lately, he s been talking about it out loud, so now Unigov moves into the public sphere.

But it s always nice, isn t it, to know a little something about a subject before we begin discussion?

Therefore, as a service to our readers, we proudly present ...

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... Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Unigov, But Were Afraid To Ask.

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Q: What is “Unigov”? Whenever I hear that, I think of those boxy, dreary little cars that you used to see people drive in the Soviet Bloc.

A: Oh, good gracious no! “Unigov” is a lot sexier than cars - Unigov is about government! In fact, the term refers to a way of organizing government so that duplicated services are eliminated, cooperation and efficiency are fostered, and we all become one, big, happy family.

Q: You mean, sort of like The Brady Bunch, only regionalized?

A: Exactly! Instead of two different houses, two sets of utility bills and property taxes, and two housekeepers named Alice, Unigov would put us all under the same roof. Very efficient!

Q: Sounds great! Why the controversy?

A: Probably because it s easier said than done. Think about it: If you re only going to have one Alice, that Other Alice is not going to be very happy. At the moment, it s the potential Other Alices who are grumbling about this proposal.

Q: Hmm. I see your point. But why wouldn t the Other Alices be content to recognize that Unigov might serve the greater good?

A: Because serving the greater good is un-American. We are much more comfortable with our long tradition of celebrating individual accomplishment.

And we know we re right too, because we already know what happens when the idea of “serving the greater good” wins. Or did you forget those boxy, dreary little cars they used to drive in the Soviet Bloc? Corvettes are totally cooler, and everybody knows it.

Q: But what about those places where Unigov has already been shown to be effective? Indianapolis is a pretty cool place, right?

A: Wellll, yeah. If you like that sort of thing. But you know, Indy has one of those European-styled traffic circles in their downtown, if you catch my drift. Besides, at the moment, plenty of folks around northwest Ohio think: If it ain t broke, don t fix it.

Q: But, isn t one man s unbroken object just another man s vision of disrepair?

A: Depending upon what you mean by such nonsense, the answer would have to be: Um, probably.

Q: OK then, what about a compromise? Like, say, we all agree not to go to a Unigov system until we let all the Other Alices use up the stationery that has their municipal titles. Would that work?

A: Not unless you let them keep their parking spots too.



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