Here’s an example of government at work. The towns of Tuscaloosa and Northport in Alabama are literally right beside each other. The Black Warrior River separates them, but travelling from one town to the other does not even involve what most larger cities would call going “across town.” On April 27, 2011, a massive F-4 tornado carved a terrible path of destruction through Tuscaloosa, and Northport mayor Bobby Herndon took action. A Christian youth mission group wanted to get some city equipment in helping to rebuild some houses for those that lost homes in the horrific tornado. Herndon was more than happy to allow the equipment to be used for this worthy cause, but now, almost a year later, he has found himself under fire by Alabama’s state government.
Mayor Herndon was fined $500 and restitution for violating ethics laws. It turns out that two of the homes to be rebuilt were outside of the Northport city limits, meaning it was across the street in Tuscaloosa. Herndon’s defense was simple:
“I thought I was doing good but didn’t think this would happen. I guess I’ll take this and learn from it.”
Good job, Alabama. A mayor allows some city resources to be used to help rebuild the community, and he gets slapped with ethics violations. What a great use of the state’s already limited resources? No wonder becoming governor in Alabama is almost a one-way trip to jail. Ethics violations are a b**tch, aren’t they?