Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Fiscal responsibility at city hall ... what a concept

Instead of making a list of what projects the city wants to do and then coming up with ways to pay for them, At-large city council member George Jabob wants the city to figure out how much money it has coming in, then make a list of projects it can afford.


Good luck with that.

I doubt there's a member of the city council, neighborhood organization, business group or the media who would disagree. After all, the platform that government needs to be run like a business is very popular. Entire political careers are based on that slogan.

But the reality is that that every single member of the city council, neighborhood organization, business group and media organization has one or more pet project that he or she considers absolutely essential and insist it be included in the budget. This list has included -- at one time or another -- reduced costs for sidewalk installation, inspections of rental properties, flowers, municipal bands, never ending renovations and additions to the Peoria Civic Center, committees and commissions that meet endlessly and produce nothing but an agreement that more meetings need to be held, a place on the riverfront for people to hold wedding receptions, the costs of using eminent domain to snatch homes from widows so millionairs can build doomed-to-fail shopping centers, baseball parks, taxpayer financed recreation centers that compete with the private sector ... and I could go on.

Which cows in the herd are sacred, asks a cowboy in an old political cartoon I recall from some years back.

Just ask em, replied the other cowboy.

Meanwhile taxes go up every year. Gee, I wonder why?

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