Monday, January 28, 2008

my take on the 06-13 CIP

By the time this letter is printed it will probably be too late to stop the city from spending $575 million over the course of the next six years on so called infrastructure improvements. The previous six years worth of projects cost the taxpayers $48.3 million, of that $9.75 million was spent on parks. If the bulk of this money was actually being used for infrastructure you’d get very few comments from me on this expenditure. I’m not a lifer born and raised in this area, but that doesn’t mean as a business owner and property owner I shouldn’t have some say on where my tax money is being spent and how it is being spent. For those of you that want to condemn me for this, we are a government of, by, and for the people and if someone doesn’t speak up to point out the flaws then the system never changes.

When one looks at the CIP for 2006 – 2013 another glaring example of this is very prevalent. I like parks just as much as the next person; however in my travels in this city I see neighborhoods with no sidewalks or any walking paths. People have a choice when they walk in these neighborhoods, on the very narrow street or in the drainage ditch. These people pay property taxes to provide for the infrastructure of this city and yet they don’t even merit a usable sidewalk? What kind of message does this send to the property owners in these neighborhoods when the city would much sooner pay for new or existing projects in a park system which isn’t even frequented by those paying for them? I believe the city has its priorities all mixed up when the legacy of an individual(s) is tantamount to providing needed infrastructure in our neighborhoods.

While attending the city council meeting where this CIP was brought before the council, one council member dared to say this should have a thorough review before being voted on and passed. This council member was chastised by another for daring to question the professionalism of the employees of this city. I would like to ask the council members and the Mayor if they have even read this twenty page document before it gets the rubber stamp of approval? I have and I can find many areas where money can be saved, such as not building a tricycle park at George Moore Park, stop acquiring land for additional park areas and be happy with the massive amount of acreage already in existence in the park system.

Neither individual nor government can spend there way into prosperity and when the people finally say they have had enough the city of Springfield will be left with egg on the faces. Eventually the people are going to say they have had enough which will lead to those that have been elected as our leaders to pursue the inevitable position of requesting more money from those of us that pay for the cities largess. When this happens the people will be prepared and not continue to believe the status quo of it’s the best for the community, the residents, and the businesses.

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