Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dastardly Skateboarders and Responsible Government Spending

It seems to me that a lot of the problems of the moment stem from a distinct and vaguely alarming lack of common sense. The vast majority of pork spending and earmarks are accepted by people at all levels of political involvement as bullshit, yet they continue to divert millions of tax dollars into vanity projects. In my view, taxes paid to the Federal government should go towards funding programs that benefit ALL taxpayers more or less equally, without favoring certain districts.

Everyone understands Want, and everyone has wants and needs. A true measure of a person is how they consider their true needs even when their wants lie in reach, particularly when choosing need over want leaves resources for others' needs. It is even more difficult to relinquish something you want, or to fairly appraise the difference between the two once you have what you want. It seems that if people could man up and consider what is best for the country, rather than simply for themselves, the way would be cleared for some major financial reform. After all, doesn't doing what's good for the country at large allow us all to capitalize on our own opportunities and achieve new heights?

The town of Holden provided an interesting look at challenge of weighing wants and needs earlier this year. The proposal was made to build a massive new public safety building, which would create a hub for all of Holden's law enforcement and emergency responders. This is a great theory. We have a local paper called The Landmark, which amongst many other things prints the police blotter. The blotter - or, as it's called in our house, "the funny papers" - chronicles a variety of small town incidents...people driving without licenses, various wildlife being spotted, neighborly arguments, and above all, the removal of DASTARDLY SKATEBOARDERS.

I'm sorry about the piercing fear that I just struck into your hearts.

You might think I'm kidding about the Dastardly Skateboarders, but you can literally track their progress Billy's-dotted-line-in-Family-Circus style around town. 9:14a, Skateboarders in Wachusett Fitness parking lot...10:27a, Skateboarders in library parking lot...11:53a, Skateboarders at Rice School. I should probably note here that I have yet to see a skateboarder in this town over the age of about 13.

The cops are doing their job, maintaining a certain level not only of public safety but public serenity. The fire department is just as efficient and serves the community well. That being said, the proposed public safety building would cost $15.5 million. While I believe in emergency personnel being outfitted to the very best possible, there's also a logical limit. What true benefit would be provided and what actual need would be met by building this facility rather than renovating and improving the pre-existing structures that these departments currently operate out of? Holden is not a burgeoning city on the verge of bursting into full on metropolisdom. It's a town where the largest problem is likely to BE fairly low-level crime well within the capabilities of the efficient and competent HPD. It doesn't take $15.5 million (NB: When has a public works project ever come in on budget?) to maintain that kind of control.

Is it so much to hope that sanity will eventually be mustered?

1 comment:

  1. But how can you have sanity with Dastardly Skateboarders around? Hmmmmmmmmmm?

    Ugh. Pork.