Somehow our local young people need to find the energy and time to understand and say “no” — to the spending habits of city government. It’s become like an adolescent boy that never grows up. It will just keep eating everything and ballooning and then start whining and blaming you when the food is gone.
Much of what gets printed as important local news about city budget crunches really belongs in the opinion section. Seriously. Before you vote to let the city steal money from roads and trails in the next election — ask yourself if you really care about the stuff they might cut.
Here’s the deal on roads and trails money. It was a major vote to dedicate this part of city tax to something that truly is important to all of society: Getting people from point A to point B. That program helps reduce the amount of potential indebtedness for new transportation projects, and increases the ability to leverage other government funds for those projects.
Had we asked the citizens if government could also use that money to fund local non-profits — they would have voted it down in a heartbeat.
Another unfortunate thing about the upcoming vote to “Rob the Roads” is what generally happens when elected folks do this stuff. In three years when the money runs out we will be back in the same position. No one will vote for a tax increase before the money is gone. Our roads and trails fund will be poorer — and the best and brightest on our city council will once again wring their hands about how we asked for these programs and why we need to pay more money to keep them.
News flash: The people didn’t create this problem. It is the city council who bears primary blame for the size and tax appetite of our own government. It’s time to quit blaming the people. It’s the votes of six people on the council who got us in this mess.
It sure as heck wasn’t the public unless you count the tiny handful of folks who show up at meetings and like to consider themselves as barometers of the community. Really.
So hopefully our young people will take this seriously and vote in December election. Just consider that if you are going to take money from a “rainy day” fund, you probably should decide for yourself if it is raining.
Or are you just feeling a bunch of crocodile tears?
Mike Heimbuch is a longtime Homer resident and former member of the Homer City Council.