I don’t know Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait. All I know about him is what I have read or heard in/on the news.

What I do know about him, I appreciate. I don’t always agree with Tait, but there is no doubt that his overriding concern is the proper stewardship of the city’s tax dollars. Tait has battled the Angels over a tax supported scheme and is now opposing a plan to waive a gate tax on Disney in exchange for a $1 billion investment in the resort.

Tait’s “taxpayer first” philosophy is refreshing. If you watched the video via the link I posted yesterday, you’ll see that John Caldecott had the same idea when he raised his hand and questioned some financial maneuvers. Others, according to Caldecott, were more interested in being team players than protecting your interests.

The cavalier attitude toward your tax dollars is what develops when the person or people at the top send the wrong message to the troops. After years of a lack of accountability, with no one questioning very much of anything, bureaucracies understand that they’ll do whatever they want.

No one, not even the seven Trustees on the school board, is holding anyone in the administration accountable for much of anything. The closest I’ve seen is at the last meeting when Vicki Snell tried to make Deputy Supt. and CBO Paul Reed, along with others, understand the particulars of a conflict of interest issue that was raised.

But it stopped there. Not one Trustee thought to ask how the conflict occurred and what could be done to prevent future conflicts of interest. Even Supt. Fred Navarro did not seem to care. Not only did he fail to support Reed in his defense of his decision, he did not utter one word about a serious issue that occurred on his watch.

Later, while Reed took a moment to thank his team by name for the help they gave him in developing the 2015-16 budget, Navarro did not even take the chance to thank Reed or anyone else for the work they did.

So, life goes on at Bear St. The money grows on the tree in the backyard and everyone on the board seems to think that as long as the budget is balanced, their work is largely done.

It’s not. Just ask Tom Tait.

Steve Smith