City taxpayers, already burdened with the highest taxes in the county, paid for Regalado's charity. As in dozens of other cases, they didn't have a chance to debate it. The solution seems simple: Enforce the rules that are in place. But as long as politicians run the show, and there is money to be made, a long-time observer of local politics does not see the practice ending. "That's the way they do their dirty deals," declares Dan Paul.
So far this year commissioners have followed the rules. Few pocket items have been presented. Those that affected the budget were cleared by the city manager. Don't give up yet, though. There are eight months left in 2000.