Scott Ford: ‘Nifty’ versus necessary
April 29, 2014
To the Editorial Board:
I would like to offer a different viewpoint to that of the editorial published on Sunday, April 27, titled "Upwardly mobile." This editorial praised the merits of the new GPS system, which will be installed and tested in city buses this summer. In all likelihood, this is a classic example of Shiny New Toy Syndrome.
Without question having GPS locators on the city's bus fleet is "nifty." Although "nifty," do we really need them? As a city, would we have purchased this $82,000 system if not for a grant (other people's money) that covered about 80 percent of the cost? I think not.
The ability to get a grant for something does not necessarily mean that it is a good idea and therefore should be done. Although relatively small in scope, in the greater scheme of the city's budget, this new "nifty" system becomes yet one more thing that needs to be maintained — and in all likelihood upgraded and eventually replaced. Who pays for that? I think we all know the answer to that question.
There is limit to what the city of Steamboat Springs taxpayers are willing to pay. I doubt shiny new toys are very high on the list.
(Although I am a member of the Steamboat Springs City Council, the views I express are my own and may or may not be shared by my fellow council members.)
Scott L. Ford