Accountability? I'm Not Sure About That & Zoellner Isn't Running

Bryan Dubois
Mar 23, 2010


Bummer:  Bob Zoellner will not be running for city commission in November.  He's got too much on his plate right now and doesn't want to spread himself too thin.


Ever noticed how often city officials answer basic accountability questions with "I don't know?"


My other favorite responses:

"That happened a really long time ago...."

"I'm really not sure what happened in that situation..."

"It's been a really long time I'd have to check up on that because I don't want to give you bad information." (Then they never get back to you.)

"For me to answer that question would be repeating rumors and I just don't do that sort of thing."  (I love that one - especially when it comes from somebody you know engages in whisper campaigns.)

"Why do you ask?"

"That was before my time."

"It's a long complicated story and I'm not 100% sure about all the facts."


What you never hear:

"I'm not sure of the answer - but I'll get right back to you.  Should I call you or email you with the response?"

The wordy merry-go-round responses I get from some public employees remind  me of the scene in Office Space where the do-nothing employee Tom Smekowski, trying to stave off being fired, answers some basic questions about his job with responses that make no sense.

Flabbergasted, the efficiency experts who will ultimately decide whether to fire Smekowski then ask him this question:

If public servants don't want to serve the public - then why are they public servants?