Here’s a little quiz on democracy: Who are Richard A. Sauget, James Nations Sr., Luther Jackson, Charles Lee, Daniel Polites, Richard Effinger and Thomas Dinges?
They are the members of the St. Clair County Public Building Commission.
Did you vote for them?
Wasn’t there something in our civics lessons about taxation without representation?
Their latest project is to create a new bureaucracy at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport. They are pondering charging between $3 and $5 a day to the roughly 260,000 cars they expect to occupy the parking spaces at the airport.
But you don’t just put up a tin box with slots and let the security guard collect the cash. You don’t put in parking meters that take credit cards.
You put up a canopy and booths with a little staff office for about $650,000. You establish a cadre of parking attendants, with government salary and benefits — and pensions.
And you don’t throw down some gravel or let the overflow park on the grass. You twice expand the parking lots for $1.33 million.
You may not have voted for them, but you live with the consequences of their decisions. The folks you did elect to represent you get to keep their hands clean, unless you connect the dots between them twice voting against taking responsibility for the airport and between the lack of patrol deputies.
Democracy takes flight.