Investigative reporting in Moab UT
February 21, 2016 2:39 PM   Subscribe

Jim Stiles at the Zephyr does a thorough job reporting on a small group of people dismantling small town governments in the Rocky Moutnain west. Are Rebecca Davidson and crew agents of change bringing small town 20th century bureaucracies into 21st century reality? Or are they neocons dismantling “big government” from within one small town at a time? Or they just conmen snowing ignorant/greedy city councils? Story long and well researched and still in progress.
posted by Mesaverdian (16 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
For what it's worth, actual "neocons" really loved big government. They're basically the polar opposite of libertarians, the traditional haters of big government - at least as far as the political right goes.
posted by koeselitz at 2:47 PM on February 21, 2016 [5 favorites]


"Big government" in the mouth of conservatives (and, frankly, most libertarians) simply means "government doing anything I disapprove of", and nothing more.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:54 PM on February 21, 2016 [31 favorites]


The story here may be thorough but it seems more like a long narrative full of insinuations than an article with a clear thesis. I got that a seemingly very unpleasant person has managed to get a bunch of small town civil servants fired. Is there anything bigger here than that?
posted by Wretch729 at 3:05 PM on February 21, 2016 [5 favorites]


The story here may be thorough but it seems more like a long narrative full of insinuations than an article with a clear thesis. I got that a seemingly very unpleasant person has managed to get a bunch of small town civil servants fired. Is there anything bigger here than that?

Agreed. The big headline here seems to be "Career Municipal Manager is a Shitty Boss." I don't see anything beyond that.
posted by duffell at 3:17 PM on February 21, 2016


It's like Parks and Recreation had a mirrorverse episode.
posted by abigailKim at 3:30 PM on February 21, 2016 [7 favorites]


Moab is a river town, red rock town, where Salt Lake County comes to camp, ride bike, get on the Colorado, and party. Many tourist dollars flow through Moab. So where there are lots of dollars, out in the relative middle of nowhere, then moves like the city manager's are the hallmark of start up corruption. She looks to be good at it.
posted by Oyéah at 3:33 PM on February 21, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is there anything bigger here than that?

A previous grift where a town with a 2 million dollar budget, Tinmath, paid 1 million to Davidson and her "engineering firm" for a sewer that failed to be up to professional standards, followed by gag clauses all around after settling.
posted by fatbird at 3:36 PM on February 21, 2016 [5 favorites]


The story here may be thorough but it seems more like a long narrative full of insinuations than an article with a clear thesis. I got that a seemingly very unpleasant person has managed to get a bunch of small town civil servants fired. Is there anything bigger here than that?

There's the bit where she spends half a small town's budget on giving contracts to her own engineering company which then do very shoddy work.

Then there's that whole bit when she starts handing very misguided accusations to the (thankfully sane) DA who investigated but declined to prosecute when the allegations were too stupid.

The first thing she did coming to Moab is making motions towards more engineering works. Then she brings in more cronies who are paid via a company she looks to have an interest in.

Holy shit, this is like a laundry list of how to loot a small town.
posted by Talez at 3:40 PM on February 21, 2016 [19 favorites]


Well, shit. Consider my words eaten. I began glazing over and skimming after the 14th paragraph or so; that'll teach me!
posted by duffell at 3:42 PM on February 21, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah, the author really does a disservice to the underlying narrative with all the details that are aimed more at garnering sympathy for the laid off than simply pointing out that she's a grifter and her grift is pretty fucking obvious.
posted by fatbird at 4:00 PM on February 21, 2016 [6 favorites]


Obvious, except to the city councils who keep hiring her.
posted by sbutler at 6:35 PM on February 21, 2016


Based on what I read in this article, Davidson is a crook and a bad person. One day, karma will catch up with her.
posted by AugustWest at 6:36 PM on February 21, 2016


Maybe too snarky, but what I was reading became a little clearer when I arrived at the bottom of the page-- Those local vendor ads are a window to cultural wars and gatekeeping I'm happy to never know.
posted by lazycomputerkids at 7:39 PM on February 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


One day, karma will catch up with her.

Yeah. Unfortunately karma doesn't work like that.
posted by Floydd at 8:09 PM on February 21, 2016 [4 favorites]


No, you just wait. One day she'll be in a chariot about to fight her kinsfolk and when that day comes she will have to sit through one long lecture, man.
posted by No-sword at 10:34 PM on February 21, 2016 [4 favorites]


Shame too that the "non-disparagement" clauses are being used as a defense against having to own up to terrible decisions — given the description (limiting comments to issues of fact), you'd think you could give a lot of damning facts with little opinion if you were inclined.
posted by klangklangston at 10:40 AM on February 22, 2016


« Older Catfilter: Living on a Purrayer   |   Ooh ah, up the RA! Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments