Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Exciting social experiments out West

The good folks of Colorado Springs, Colo., have taken it upon themselves to answer the question: How can we turn a city into something resembling a painting of Hell by Bosch?

From the Denver Post:
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.

I believe the exact wording of the signs is: "Abandon hope all ye who enter here."

Look, I understand not wanting your taxes to go up. But I find it difficult to believe that, as they're being robbed on dark streets, people won't be thinking, "Down with taxes! And I can take comfort in the fact that my house is now worth nothing, too!"

Meanwhile, in cut-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face developments in Arizona, the state is shutting down parks. The problem?
Lost Dutchman, the state's eighth most popular park and the closest to the East Valley, lost $9,545 in fiscal year 2008-2009. The biggest loser was Oracle State Park near Tucson, which lost $253,262. In contrast, popular Slide Rock State Park near Sedona turned a $254,249 profit.

But Stephen Filipowicz, Apache Junction's economic development director, said the Arizona State Parks Department estimates that Lost Dutchman generates $4 million a year in tourism revenues each year.

Yes, Lost Dutchman lost less than $10,000 last year, but brought in $4 million in tourist revenue for the area.

There's a saying that you get the government you deserve. Sadly, I must conclude that's true.



Deodand said...

I was waiting for the punchline on that Denver Post quote...then there wasn't one. Holy smokes.

ChefNick said...

"Packs of roaming wild dogs wander the weed-filled streets while the detritus of a lost civilization blows in the mournful wind . . ."