Just sittin’ here on the porch observing the actions, or lack thereof, of our hired hands down at City Hall. Rockin’ to the rhythm and listening to the litany roused the curiosity.
After hearing one of our councilers rear the dreaded “M” word yet again, Rocker thought it might be appropriate to dive into what this malfeasance thing really means. This, of course, brought on when one city official thought another had malfeased by promising raises.
Maybe we can better understand if we break down all the feasances.
First, we should know that feasance is doing or performing an act as a condition of duty. In other words, if an elected official takes an oath to do it, they’re expected to do it.
If one is not feasing as expected, there are three, three-letter prefix wrist slappers. Those, students, are mal-, mis-, and non-.
Added to feasance, all mean something.
Mal (feasance) refers to wrongdoing or misconduct, illegal or dishonest activity especially, as in our counciler’s view, by a public official. Mis (no gender reference intended) is the act of engaging in an action or duty but failing to perform the duty correctly. Non is simply failing to act when there is a duty to do so.
Knowing this, one begs to ask the question: Reckon our accuser realizes that a mal charge against one official lets out two other dogs that can bite others?
Example: Is it Mal, Mis or Non that covers allowing one’s chair to sit empty at regular meetings, special meetings or workshops? Could it be Mis or Non that applies to failure to attend meetings even after being ordered by decree to do so?
And, which of the three types apply, and to whom, when a city’s operating budget goes unapproved to the point that Uncle John Bel may be called upon to tell us how to spend half of last year’s total?
It’s said that people who live in glass houses surely shouldn’t throw stones. Especially when the shattering glass may hit unintended others.
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