I guess this is what a libertarian paradise looks like:
COLORADO SPRINGS — This tax-averse city is about to learn what it looks and feels like when budget cuts slash services most Americans consider part of the urban fabric.
More than a third of the streetlights in Colorado Springs will go dark Monday. The police helicopters are for sale on the Internet. The city is dumping firefighting jobs, a vice team, burglary investigators, beat cops — dozens of police and fire positions will go unfilled.
The parks department removed trash cans last week, replacing them with signs urging users to pack out their own litter.
Neighbors are encouraged to bring their own lawn mowers to local green spaces, because parks workers will mow them only once every two weeks. If that.
Water cutbacks mean most parks will be dead, brown turf by July; the flower and fertilizer budget is zero.
City recreation centers, indoor and outdoor pools, and a handful of museums will close for good March 31 unless they find private funding to stay open. Buses no longer run on evenings and weekends. The city won’t pay for any street paving, relying instead on a regional authority that can meet only about 10 percent of the need.
I don’t know who wants to live like this. Of course, if you’re well-heeled, these sort of problems might seem perplexing (italics mine):
Broadmoor luxury resort chief executive Steve Bartolin wrote an open letter asking why the city spends $89,000 per employee, when his enterprise has a similar number of workers and spends only $24,000 on each.
Businessman Fowler, saying he is now speaking for the task force Bartolin supports, said the city should study the Broadmoor’s use of seasonal employees and realistic manager pay.
Because $24,000 for a family is a whole whopping 33% more than the poverty threshold. And the slackers should be thankful for that! Seriously, there are two types of conservatives: millionaires and suckers. But Colorado Springs does have a lot of suckers–it’s home to Focus on the Family…
On a less snarky note, do you think this is a temporary setback, or is this the beginning of a trend of suburban decay? Because this is exactly what happened when cities became defunded. Public spaces degraded and became uninviting, which led to crime in those areas, followed by lowered property values (and tax base) and flight. Despite what some might think, I actually don’t want suburbs to decay (just pay their fair share); in fact, the subsidies to state and local governments, which I called for two years ago, would help places like Colorado Springs.
Will have to look into data further….