Last Thursday, Daily Pilot columnist Joseph Bell articulated a question for the ages. He was commenting on the specifics of a financial plan offered by Newport Beach Mayor Keith Curry that promised to create "a leaner, more efficient, more effective and better-managed" city government.
According to Curry, the plan is already working and helping the city avoid drawing from its reserves. Bell then asked: "If this could be accomplished so readily under the stress of economic necessity, why wasn't it done before the crisis required it?"
Here's the answer: The Newport Beach City Council did not make any changes prior to the recession because it is a large bureaucracy, and like almost every other bureaucracy, public or private, its primary mission is to preserve the status quo. Bureaucracies do not like change and so their resistance to it becomes a daily activity, often at the expense of the greater good of the organization.