How the Failure to Enforce the Laws and Rules Can Effect Your Health

Article excerpt

The situation - where it was recently charged or acknowledged that Federal Aviation Administration staff had prior knowledge of safety related problems at ValuJet before the accident that brought it down - is hardly news to the thousands of Americans who work in local, state and national government jobs across the country.

Everyone who works in government is under pressure to go along to get along and avoid being disciplined for voicing what should be covered under freedom-of-speech laws. Some of this is merely general social group pressure. And some is direct pressure that comes from the veiled or voiced threat to be disciplined for divulging mishandling of various governmental responsibilities, policies, issues or what have you.

I recall once in Palm Beach County, Florida, where as the site planner with the County Planning, Zoning and Building Department, when the word filtered down from the county manager's office that a particular project was to be fast-tracked. The project was only to receive a cursory review and specific aspects of it were excused for specific reasons. As a result, an outdoor "band shell" was built facing a community that has experienced major noise problems since.

And, while with the zoning office of the city of Tampa, I recall a time when staff was ridiculed for suggesting that a planned expansion of a nonconforming jail in a low-to-moderate-income neighborhood required a major general plan amendment and a rezoning hearing as required by the zoning and planning regulations in effect at the time. …