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I hate to say it, but it sounds like the City may be limiting the number of strategic choices. Could it be that choosing between false choices just might not be in the long term benefit of Steamboat? Why haven't we heard about a choice like selling Iron Horse for private development. That may or may not be doable in the very near term, but shouldn't someone consult with someone to explore the risks and possible benefits of a longer term disposal plan? We should not compound the strategic mistakes of prior Councils by not exploring ALL options.
I find it interesting that so much of the above dialogue departed substantially from the primary question of reducing the net operating expenditures. Paul Hughes offered a possible solution, but actually that could be structured in many ways. For example, if the Yellow line costs approx $10 per rider, maybe we should ask those riders to pay $5 per trip? Their individual subsidy of about $5 per trip would still be more than twice the public subsidy of all other bus service.
I support the idea of free public transit conceptually, but there is an unintended consequence we all must wrestle with. In the absence of a price mechanism, all users loose the benefit of a personal cost benefit analysis. It's therefore easy to feel entitled.
It might be interesting to ask the users of the Yellow line, what would you be willing to pay for this service? Would you be willing to pay more for extended hours of operation? I'm not going to speculate, but I suspect if a reasonable price mechanism were applied, the number of users may be different. That's both good and bad news because I feel the objective of public transit is not exclusively monetary.
The questions, and many of the comments, do not seem to outline the priorities in an economic or functional sense. QT 1: what are the functional needs do the police and fire depts? QT 2: what is the highest and best use of the real estate we call Iron Horse?
I sure don't have the technical answers but the proposal on the table does not appear to meet what I call the economic smell test. It feels like a solution to a problem caused a few years ago by poor judgment by our political leaders who jumped to conclusions without thinking things through. Are we in fact following the same model of Ready, Fire, Aim? Feels like it. It's not like our treasury is flush with cash like our political leaders thought it was a few years ago, just the opposite. Respectfully,
This proposal sort of reminds me of the expression, Ready, Fire, Aim. Let's see, the same rocket scientists who brought us the expensive failure in the Iron Horse now want to "save money" by turning riverfront view property into a police station. What's wrong with this picture? Anyone thought about the real estate development of "highest and best use" concept? Respectfully.
This feels like one of those God, mother and apple pie arguments. Surely no one will argue against ensuring the best educational system possible for our kids, right? I surely do not have all the answers, but isn't it also possible that there's a structural problem in our educational system? Is it possible that public education has become a sacred cow that just might be restructured to achieve better results? Nationally, we are spending more money per student than ever before and teacher pupil ratios are generally getting smaller, but the actual performance results are declining. Does anyone else sense a systemic issue that just might not relate to funding? Personally, I've never seen effective reform achieved by throwing more money at any system (corporate or governmental) without first thoughtfully and completely challenging the existing paradigm.
With all due respect, you seem to talk a good game, good political speak, but what have you actually done to purse these articulated principles? Unfortunately, I sure have not seen you stand up for these principles in your voting record. Where or when have you stood up against the position of so many other senators who seem to be willing to spend our country into oblivion? What are you willing to do with respect to either discretionary spending or entitlement spending? We certainly know how you voted on the most recent enormous expansion of entitlement spending (health care) whose financial case was, if you pardon the expression, based on financial smoke and mirrors that came directly from the Enron playbook.
By the way, if anyone is actually not concerned about the debt and deficit path we are currently following, we might well pay attention to the fairly universal comments being made about Japan's current debt and deficit situation especially since they are facing the need for sizable public expenditures to address the devistation from the recent earthquake and tsunami. In a financial sense, they are totally unprepared for that "unexpected" event; what if we are required to confront some similar "unexpected" event?
Bilingual volunteers are needed for new story-time:
Am I the only one who remembers that not following full immersion principles tends to have unintended negative consequences on ESL students? There's extensive data that supports full immersion being a superior approach. Could this be more misguided political correctness?
Am I the only one who feels that a system that allows taxation based on valuations that are so stale is inherently unfair and inappropriate? Personally, I don't see why our valuation assessments can not be determined annually by the County. Many, perhaps most other states do that.
I love wildlife, but I sense our do-good nature is prone to unintended consequences. I hope the decisions are left primarily to the folks who really should know what's best for the wildlife, probably the DOW folks and not politicians.
Couple of observations about the above comments:
Yes, general property values have gone down, and may go down further, but that generally will have little effect on what taxes we pay because tax RATES generally get adjusted upward to arrive at the required tax revenue to support budgeted spending.
I've not seen and am not familiar with the Finance Director's projections, but if the LONG TERM financing is tied to floating interest rates, and we are currently enjoying abnormally low market interest rates, the Finance Director should be queried extensively about the potential material negative impact of probable higher interest rates in future years on those projections and how those risks are being mitigated.
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