Monday, April 22, 2013

Bureaucrats at work

Watching news commentators talk about California's current money problems, costly fees and high taxes on businesses brought back some memories of earlier bureaucratic malfeasance in that state. In June of 1984, the California legislature passed a law that required licensing of on location carpet cleaners who used the dry process for cleaning furniture and draperies.

The law also required that equipment be inspected by the State Board of Fabricare. Professional cleaners had to be licensed via a test based on a hurriedly published 228 page instruction book. The problem was that in their bureaucratic frenzy to get this proposal into law they forgot that no official test sites existed around the huge state.

Colleen Rhodes, a Bane-Clene® operator from Nevada City, spearheaded a letter writing campaign to the Governor and State Legislators. I asked Bob Quinn, my wife’s brother and a three term mayor of Pacific Grove, for his help in repealing the bill. Bob used his political influence to lobby against this power grab by a few greedy cleaners.

The concerted effort worked and the giant boondoggle ended quietly and mercifully. Governor George Deukmejian signed a bill introduced by Assemblyman Wally Herger that simply eliminated funding for the Fabricare Board. It's a shame simple solutions like this can't be found today to solve some of our economic problems and rid us of some bureaucracy.

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