The Denver Post today posted a practical look at the recession reality of anti-tax conservative Colorado Springs. City lawmakers working within the shrinking city budget are shutting down services. Street lights are blinking out; beat cops, vice and burglary detectives and firefighters, being dumped; public trash cans, removed; watering schedules at many public parks, finished; swimming pools, shuttered; public-space flower-planting, a thing of the past.
“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,” writes Michael Booth. Nicely put. And the raw ungrammatical work piling up in the comments section is equally eloquent! One-hundred-eighty comments and counting.
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 guess we’re going to find out what the tolerance level is for people,” said businessman Chuck Fowler, who is helping lead a private task force brainstorming for city budget fixes. “It’s a new day.”
Some residents are less sanguine, arguing that cuts to bus services, drug enforcement and treatment and job development are attacks on basic needs for the working class.
“How are people supposed to live? We’re not a ‘Mayberry R.F.D.’ anymore,” said Addy Hansen, a criminal justice student who has spoken out about safety cuts. “We’re the second-largest city, and growing, in Colorado. We’re in trouble. We’re in big trouble.”
From Booth’s commenters:
Colorado Springs is ruled by a myopic, greedy TABORITE Republican mind set that strives for only one thing…to be buried with as much money as possible.
Myopic, yes. but when I assume you mean we (Colorado Springs residents)are not willing to raise taxes to do what is right for furutre, I say yes because city council is not willing to make meeninglyful budget cuts that will sustain Colorado Springs for the future.
An yes, My children WILL receive my belongings, including my money when I am burried, not the governement.
People who are to do court ordered community service should have to work for the city doing jobs like cutting the grass and cleaning up parks. Also a 10% pay cut for all city workers making over 30,000 a year. Also what about all city building go to the 4 day work week and be closed for 3 days or do a mandatory unpaid day off every two weeks.
That how your job is? Two unpaid days off a month. 24 days off a year a year? When you go to the city building to get a permit or pay your water bill and it’s closed you pitch a fit like when the city of Denver did and the state did. People where howling when they couldn’t get into Dept. of Motor Vehicles.
A 10% pay-cut for a $30,000 job would be $3,000. $27,000 annual is $562.50 a week. Before taxes. That’s $112.50 a day. Now subtract a half day (based on your day every two week premise) that is $506.25 per week before deductions and taxes so that leaves you less than $100 a day. Is that the job you want? Is that who you want running your city and responsible for your safety? City counsels can be voted out. So can the Mayors and others. You don’t like their pay you can do something about it. But anger to the guys keeping you safe and comfy in your town or city is ridiculous. Next time you drive through an intersection think about what would happen if you couldn’t trust those lights. Want traffic controlled by a gonzo making less than a 100 a day? That’s just an example but it’s not hard to stretch the imagination. How would you keep a city of over 400,000 people running.
The ultimate conservative dream comes true. Grover Norquist must be drunk with joy. I say go all they way, don’t stop at third base, just get rid of all taxes and all government in the Springs.
I hope folks in the Springs take in the full experience, the fun of being mugged on darkened streets; perhaps driving into a pedestrian, biker, or parked car at night because you can’t see without street lights; enjoy your declining property values because the city park next door looks like, and smells like, a trash heap; you might personally get to be part of the increase in rapes, burglaries, unsolved homicides, or perhaps it was your home that could have been saved but burned to the ground because a neighbor’s garage caught fire, be glad those poor dirty teens down the block now have lots of time on there hands without a community center to keep them busy, and remember every time a day care center closes it’s just an opportunity for that guy next door who likes to surround himself with young kids all day — wink wink.
But all is not lost. The richest amongst you won’t suffer any of these problems… they’re rich! I guess every few generations becomes so stupid, they just have to personally experience why, in a democracy, we freely vote to raise taxes to fund those things that benefit the common good.
I am so sorry!!! I thought I could raise my children better than the government could. I am so stupid I should have realized the government knows better than I do what is right for me and my family
Here, take my check, just make sure I have food and a place to sleep…
Wake up people!!! How much tax is to much.