Much has been written about the far-Left, anti-business agenda of Seattle city government – from the $15 minimum wage, to guaranteed scheduling, to putting up roadblocks to new economy businesses like Uber and Airbnb , to dictating who landlords must rent to, and the list keeps going. What often gets less attention is how the city will actually manage its new nanny state policies.
Well, perhaps recent news about the city’s inability to manage computer systems at its own utility provides a scary preview of what’s in store.
As the Seattle Times pointed out, City Light and Seattle Public Utilities tried to launch it new “billing, customer-service and back-office computer system over the Labor Day weekend — nearly a year late and $34 million over its initial budget.”
And the city bureaucrats tried to make the computer project (which was actually approved by the City Council in 2012) sound like an amazingly difficult, life-or-death task. “‘This is like giving someone a heart transplant,’ said a utilities spokesperson.
Now, before you get upset about the city being late and 30% over-budget with a major project – it involved government after all, not heart surgeons – what’s worse is the result of the “launch,” reported Monday in the Times:
“Seattle’s new billing system for utilities, already afflicted by delays and cost overruns, launched Monday morning with a data flaw that sent 3,041 customers a link to other customers’ bills, including their names, addresses and energy or water use. Along with the privacy breakdown, the city sent six to 12 redundant email notices to those same customers, marking new trouble for a computer update.”
But, hey, what’s a little security breach among friends, right? It’s just a government project.
And, after all, it’s not like the city is trying to tell private businesses what to do – whoops, evidently that is what’s going as well, but what could go wrong?
For the realists still left in Seattle, that’s a question they may not want the answer to.