This week, we learned that the supervisor of the long-neglected city marinas has been spending taxpayer dollars on drugs and alcohol for his personal consumption. Among other questions this raises, why is the marina publicly run in the first place? Do we have any reason to believe that running marinas is something government does well? Alternatively, do we want to subsidize boat-owners who dock their boats in Stamford? It appears there are at least four privately run marinas in the city, so it's not as though this is a service that won't be provided if government doesn't step in.
Separately, I have a few suggestions on how to eliminate waste and abuse in city government:
1. Adopt zero-based budgeting, so that every expense has to be justified each year, and the incentive to "use it [the budget] or lose it" is reduced
2. Issue fewer city credit cards, and centralize purchasing functions to increase buying power and reduce the potential for individuals to misappropriate funds
3. Hold the direct supervisor of any employee found to have misappropriated funds responsible (unless the supervisor is the person who helped unearth the misappropriation, as was the case here)
4. Perform internal audits at unpredictable intervals (just as the IRS randomly audits taxpayers)