Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Decision Day

Well Decision Day came and went yesterday in the city I work in. Several cast their votes. In a city of roughly 160,851 registered voters, 49,730 spoke.  So a 30.9% turnout (not even half) of the registered voters determined the fate of the city and millions of dollars. Many will say- that's how the system works. Those who care get involved, those who don't- don't. The biggest problem- I saw, was as a primary for city council, the mayor, and a referendum. So many talked about confusion on what they were voting on. How many of those voted for something they had no idea they were voting on? How many didn't vote because they were sick of the whole thing? Either way a $50 million project hung in the balance, something teams of people have spent years (YEARS) working on.

A little misinformation goes a long way! Cries of fix what we have because it can be became the ultimate cry. But take for a moment the idea of a sinkhole home in your neighborhood. Would you sit by for years while the homeowner decided what they wanted to do? You wouldn't really have a choice, after all it is THEIR property. It's THEIR money. I mean after all unless you are willing to pay for a company to come over and do the work what else can you do? Sure you can report it, but then what? A crew comes out from the state and declares the whole neighborhood unstable. Did you know that?  After all you were trying to look out for your neighbor in the hopes it wouldn't spread, but now its too late. Years went by and the situation kept getting worse.
Often people think they know what's best, they read the newspaper, listen the news, and of course the government is always out to waste money. The idea of "refurbishing" has cracked me up to no end. The city has spent HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of dollars every year doing just that- repairing- refurbishing a deteriorating pier. You don't think part of that money was hiring someone to prevent spending money if they could. To research what options there were? At some point you have to know when a home can't be fixed... you move on. Before it swallows an entire neighborhood!

Everyone points to a COUPLE of caissons and touts their strength. For the next 20 years or so.... my son is 17, I have been here for 12 years... I am amazed what has changed in that time. 20 years from now is ALOT to gamble on... and then, there won't be funds to "fix" what's failing then...

Going back to the home... part of the home-buyers crisis that most don't talk about was the buy the most you could afford (talked about) BUT then came repairs... if you were already tapped out month to month how do you put on a new roof? How do you fix the garage door? Replace appliances? Fix leaky pipes? GOD forbid you had a pool and that started acting up! You see where I am going...

So yes, things cost money. And while people are always quick to remind government that its "their" money being spent so they should have a say on every last penny, its true, and you do. You elect people that represent you. They make those decisions. Not liking the decisions they make, sometimes stinks. But halting those decisions has enormous long-term effects.
While I don't agree with every decision ever made in government, I understand the process.
I also understand that by thwarting the process you can do more harm than good... the "decision" may have been made yesterday, but what it did was leave the city with the last 8 years of planning and hard work by many, needing to start over. THAT was a process! But then again... it is just another day in Life in blogging