Residents constantly complained about how high their taxes were yet seemed unable to comprehend the very high level of service the city provided. Aren't the nice sidewalks, big parks, and good schools the reasons they moved to the suburbs? I was reminded of that when I read that Colorado Springs and its tax-averse citizens are about to see what taxes actually pay for:With declining public revenues, higher service costs, and the suction of growth & development money out of communities with little trickling back down, we're going to see the same erosion in Nashville. The Mayor is already ordering Metro departments to cut budgets 7.5% in the next year even as he assumes a new post focused more on the Middle Tennessee region and less on Nashville's neighborhoods.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.Colorado requires a referendum to raise taxes, and the voters of Colorado Springs recently rejected a proposed property tax increase that would have helped cover a budget gap, after the recession lowered sales tax revenue by $22 million since 2007. So now, voters will see how good individuals are at protecting the common good.
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.
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Colorado Springs is experiencing the contraction in store for Nashville with budget cuts, resistance to revenues, and the artificial wedges driven between "macroeconomy" (for example, primary focus on "regionwide development") and "microeconomy" (balance between local infrastructure and top-down growth):