Question: When does a gift become a bribe for a city official?
Answer: When the gift changes behavior, then that gift is, or becomes a bribe. It can be a free drink, free cup of coffee and a doughnut or a $600,000 dollar donation, if it changes what a city worker thinks or does or if it changes what the city does then, it qualifies as a bribe, whether intended to be a bribe or not, it becomes one. Chip, chip, and chip away and one little favor leads to the return of another. Should a city employee, a city official [elected or appointed], a council member, a committee member, a department or the city itself accept or give any gift as a city member, a department or the city itself? The answer is no. Even the city itself should not accept gifts to the city from individuals, corporations, charities, churches, organization or endowments nor should the city give them or be part of any monetary gifts, or donations to help fund their operations no matter how well-intended it or they may be, because no one who gives or receives a gift or does a favor will treat or be treated the same as those who have not. You may ask what harm does it do? We tip many people who do services for us.
How much cash do you think a person should tip a city employee to thank him or her for the service that has been done or will be done? Small tip, regular service, a big tip, priority service or no tip, then go to the end of the line. Government services, like all our rights and freedoms, should be equal for all citizens regardless of monetary status. How much should one bribe be, to the city, to build a road?
$600,000 dollars sounded about right for Ryan Corporation to give the city, in order to build the Edwards Blvd extension. Very few people really know the details of where and how that money was used and who benefited from it, or how it was subtly hidden in a resolution so that the city council approved its distribution without knowing that they were approving the distribution of the $600,000 gift. Did you know that the use of that $600,000 gift was part of the Peller lawsuit which the city lost and it was also involved with the Hillmoor lawsuit because it is the only logical explanation as to why the city officials authorized the drainage pond for the Target/Best Buy development to be put on the Hillmoor property without the former owner of the Hillmoor property owner’s permission? Do you really think that these issues have nothing to do with Draft #3 of the City’s Comprehensive Plan? They have everything to do with it. It wasn’t the Army Corps of Engineers that approved the drainage pond on Hillmoor land, it was the CCC (City’s Corps of Corruption) that approved it.
More of this story to follow…