Spend money, lots of money, your money!
As I stopped at the mailbox on my way home with my daughter a few days ago, I was flagged down by a woman who jumped out of her car and gestured for us to roll down the window. Now, of course, I was thinking she wanted us to be on the lookout for a lost dog or something, but as she approached, she asked a few questions about where we live and whether we know what our local government is trying to sneak past everyone in the area.
I thought, Huh? For one, I don’t watch the news—not that any local news is covered, anyway, because the only things newsworthy are mayhem and panic. So after I told her that no, I had no idea, she held up a notice about a $48 million police station the community government is trying to get approved. By the way, that cost is to be paid by us (you know, the taxpayers) over many, many years. I laughed, because how else would you respond to something so ludicrous during a pandemic, when everyone is trying to keep a roof over their head, feed their families, and somehow just survive? Along with that is the fact that our country is in the deepest, and I mean deepest, deficit it has likely ever seen, and when the taxman starts coming around to collect for all these bailouts during the pandemic, you and me will be paying for it. Of course, my response was, “You can’t be serious.”
Not only was she dead serious, but she took a minute to give me the background on how the government is trying to push the funding through in a very sneaky way so there will be no opposition. Apparently, she had tried running in the local election and was unsuccessful, but thankfully, she has become a watchdog, alerting the neighbors to what these local guys (and yes, I’m saying “guys”) are trying to sneak past. And it gets better: The notice she was holding from city council indicated that it had been mailed out to all households by the post office. But guess what? I had never received it. How many of you have heard that excuse time and again from some bureaucrat or someone else? They always say, “Oh, it’s in the mail.” That way you can’t prove they haven’t sent something. Blaming it on the post office is an age-old tactic they use to cover their asses for not being honest and transparent.
Nevertheless, she pointed out that you can mail, fax, or email in your ballot, and they need ten percent of voters to actually respond and say no for it not to go through. Okay, so there was still time! She also pointed out to me that as you read further, you realize the ballot is only one avenue the government is pursuing. They’re still looking at other ways to push it through without taxpayers having a say.
Of course, I thanked the unnamed woman and promptly sent off my email and ballot, but at the same time, I realized these behind-the-scenes games have gone on forever in all governments, at all levels, especially the small ones that no one pays any attention to. Your local taxes have been going up and up instead of down. That woman is helping to save us from a $48 million mistake, and hopefully she has woken up enough people with her questions about how much extra money we have in our pockets to fund a state-of-the-art, super expensive new police station during a time when everything about that level of authority is in question.
The only thing I would hope local authorities are looking at is how we can help those in the community who are the most vulnerable, the many who are going to lose the roof over their head because they lost their jobs, burned through what little savings they had, and are now having a hard time feeding their families. Do you think any one of them is saying, “Yeah, by all means, let’s fund an expensive police station instead of feeding my family, keeping property prices down so I can keep a roof over my head, and helping people who are at the lowest of the low right now, trying to get back on their feet”? I’m certainly not.
You would think it would be a priority right now for people in authority to do the right thing, but apparently, some are still operating from that mindset of spending money, lots of money, your money, on the kinds of things that shouldn’t even be on the table right now.