Mark O’Brien: Good news, Florida, other states are worse
Image via AP.

On a chilly Florida day, there’s nothing like catching up on the last few issues of “Government Executive,” which bills itself as “the premier website for federal managers and executives.”

It’s not as dry as you think, especially in its “State and Local” section. And it’s a morale-booster for those of us worn down by Florida’s national reputation for dumb people doing dumb things.

Here’s the latest from Pennsylvania, where four workers in the state attorney general’s office have been fired and 11 others suspended without pay for involvement in the email exchanges of pornography.

Yes, that’s the state ATTORNEY GENERAL’s office.

What don’t these guys get? Work is supposed to be a porn-free zone, and don’t tell me all you guys were on the job doing “research” into the porn industry.

Yet they’re hardly alone: A state Supreme Court justice and a member of Pennsylvania’s cabinet already have resigned as a result of this scandal.

See, you’re already feeling better about Florida.

Also, our current brushes with cold weather are trifles compared with stuff happening elsewhere, Government Executive tells us.

In Portland, Ore., local government crews spent nine hours putting chains on buses because a major snowstorm was expected. Hardly any snow arrived, but the chains on the buses dinged up the roadways.

They should have hired the city manager of Marquette, Mich., who was featured a few days earlier for his city’s ability to plow snow. Up to 3.5 feet of snow fell one day recently, yet the city had 100 miles of streets clean and passable within four hours.

See, there is good news out there, and I exaggerate when I mock this publication. In fact, it’s a very good source of even-handed reporting on issues that are important to many governments. Florida leaders probably could find some solutions for their communities’ problems by reading “Government Executive.”

Still, there’s always a chuckle to be had somewhere. Like the article about the 3,323-foot tunnel being built under a lake near Dallas. The tunnel will carry up to 120 million gallons of sewage per day. Now that’s a Texas-sized sewerage system.

And while Florida’s governor won’t even let us say if we want the Affordable Health Care Act, people in Idaho had a different problem. Their state allowed them the choice to sign up — and 76,000 people did, an unusually high percentage.

Yet Idaho couldn’t get its own exchange up and running, so the Idaho residents had to make do with the federal system that had such a horrible rollout last fall.

At least Gov. Rick Scott has spared us that indignity which, ahem, involved some less than “premier” federal managers and executives.

Mark O’Brien is a writer in Pensacola. Column courtesy of Context Florida.

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