Special interests weigh city downPublished 9:41am Tuesday, September 25, 2012
I would like to say that the Albert Lea City Council made the right decision by listening to the city’s residents and voting to fully staff the Albert Lea Fire Department. If just one life is saved or substantial property loss is avoided, it is worth every extra tax dollar spent.
On the Broadway streetscape, the street will be torn up, storefront to storefront, to replace the infrastructure, so now is the time to redesign the street for the safety of pedestrians, to look at the cost savings of not replacing the intersection traffic lights, based on traffic flow, and their quarter-of-a-million-dollar price tag per intersection, and use that savings to give us an aesthetically better downtown area.
The local government spending that is not sustainable is the taxpayer dollars that are spent to provide city employees equipment and property or just funding to special interest groups and organizations, who want to further their individual interests at taxpayer expense.
Back in January 2012, the city created a new special events policy that would require a special event permit and user fees. I told the people involved that the new policy and/or any other city ordinance is only as good as the enforcement of that policy or ordinance. How many of these special interest groups and organizations are paying their fair share back to the city to host their events?
Quality of life comes at a price, and as taxpayers we are already heavily burdened with high taxes, just to provide the basic services needed in our community. We should not be forced to contribute to all of these different groups through the use of our tax dollars.
This is just a personal opinion and a personal choice in reading material, but I would much rather read an article on how our community leaders spent their time and our tax dollars to bring a new business to town that would employ 40 people long term at a livable wage, then a full-page article about a special interest group that used public land at taxpayer expense to further their own interest. Sure, I’ll give you that a few businesses benefited, and that’s great, but I believe the community and the taxpayers as a whole lost by all that has transpired at Bancroft Bay Park (aka, the new Oak Island Disc Golf Course.)