Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Unemployed Bishop

I've blogged some on the Limburg Catholic Bishop who got into a bunch of trouble last summer when they figured out how much money that he'd spent on renovation of the church and compound area there.  The church has spent months trying to figure out the entire mess, and this week came to a conclusion. Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst has now officially resigned from the church.  He's a regular guy again.

What he says generally in his resignation....over almost thirty-one million Euro spent (roughly $39 million dollars) that he just wasn't that great of a manager, and his number two guy....the local Vicar....should have helped in some way.

I looked over the list of's a pretty wild deal.

There's this six foot deep fish tank.....costing roughly 213,000 Euro ($250,000 roughly).  It's hard to say what the intent was, but when you simply talk about cleaning the thing on a yearly'd be a massive undertaking and likely require two guys and an entire day.

He had the guys install walking stones in his garden area.....heated stones.  This led to 19,000 Euro ($25,000 roughly).  The reason?  I can only imagine that it does snow a fair bit, and the heated stones would have made it easier for some guy to walk in winter across the garden.

The whole compound area was fixed up with LED lights.  I know.....they save tons on electrical bills and it's the newest trend.  But the thing is....this purchase and installation game....cost in the range of 650,000 Euro (figure $800,000 roughly).  It's a tremendous amount of money....just for lights.

Door upgrades?  Well....this ran onto 490,000 Euro (roughly $650,000 dollars).  I could understand going grand for maybe one doorway.  But once you went over the 100,000 Euro range....I would have asked some questions about reusing some of the older doors already there and just having them redone.

Task after task....just money flushed down the drain.  No fear of an audit.  No grasp of project management techniques.  No one asking stupid questions.  No logic or reason or plan that seems to dictate the end-result.

What happens to an out-of-work Bishop?  Well, that's the thing.  Who hires a guy like this?  He walks into the Arbeits (work) office here....likely in Limburg....and sits down with the lady.  I'm guessing she will ask forty questions, and then refer him to the supervisor.  Hopefully, she's a Catholic individual and she will have pity in some minor way.

Maybe the city park folks?  Maybe the school district?  Maybe the local paper might hire him to write a column on ethics or patience with difficult people.  Maybe the local tourist board might get him up to do some work.

Yeah, I probably wouldn't let him near any project management affairs, use of spending budgets, or handling renovation projects.  But what kind of job to you give an out-of-work Catholic Bishop?

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