I just do not get it. Maybe I am stupid. Maybe I don’t see the “big picture”. Maybe I am not in the know when it comes to the ins and outs of managing a big city. But I do know what my five senses tell me. And at least three of these senses are tingling with a spider sense that would make spider man envious. I cannot believe what I hear coming out of City Hall, I cannot believe what I see is going on down there, and to put it bluntly, something smells. All the politicking and posturing leaves a bad taste in my mouth, so I guess it is four senses. Why is it that anywhere else one plus one equals two but in City politics, one plus one equals whatever they want it to equal. I just do not get it.
The City is planning layoffs of police, fire, and other employees which will dramatically reduce the level of service and safety provided to residents and visitors to the City. It appears to me that if you have a safe City you will attract new residents, new business, and visitors. All of which bring additional revenue to the city coffers. And revenue goes a long way towards balancing the budget. On the other hand, if you drive away residents, new business, and visitors, revenue will go down, and the budget deficit will continue to spiral downward until there is nothing left. Now, in my way of thinking, this is all pretty basic, or one plus one equals two. Not so in the politicians mind.
The politicians think that building a street car will attract new residents, new business, and visitors. They think these people either don’t care about safety, or are too stupid to realize the basic services are not provided. They think people will just pour into the city, stand in line to ride the street car, all fat, dumb, and happy They think this, but I don’t. I give people more credit than this. I think they are going to quickly realize the street car will take them to a neighborhood that was not very safe to begin with, and now will be much less safe because 159 police officers are no longer available to provide any safety and security to the area. That is what I think, but then, what do I know.
Another basic math lesson for you to ponder. The City Administration (think City Manager) has approached City council, hat in hand and hands extended, asking for an additional $40 million to pump into the street car project. This money is necessary because they have “cost overruns” and want to hire a project manager to oversee the streetcar project. I guess to manage the cost over runs. Now bear in mind, this is the same City Manager who, out of the right side of his mouth claims the city is broke and in the hole by $35 millions and out of the left side of his mouth he says he wants council to approve an additional $40 million for the street car. So this says two things to me. If council approves the request, will we will be $75 million in the hole? No problem, we can just lay off more people. Or, does it mean they have $40 million to give, and if so, why cannot this $40 million plug the hole in the budget?
Remember my disclaimer at the start of this article. I admittedly don’t see the big picture. And you probably can’t see the big picture either. Could this lack in clarity of vision be caused by the fact that we have had the wool pulled over our eyes for way too long?
Those are my thoughts, what are yours?