March 19, 2010
COMMUNITY FORUM: With budget cuts underway, The Gazette is flooded with letters about the way City Hall does business.
Kids see more at the beach
I happened to read the paper March 16 and I read a few opinions about the new trash cans that PETA would set up. One of which basically said that she didn’t want her young impressionable daughter to see soft porn on the trash cans.
My response to that is; I respect your opinion but I don’t agree with your reasoning. I honestly don’t see a problem with the image on the trash cans. I think that it is fine that the woman on the front is wearing a lettuce bikini, kids see more at the beach or even a swimming pool.
Wearing vegetables fun
Oh thank you for this PETA plan! Nothing takes my mind off of the issues quite so well as wearing vegetables. Where can I get me one of them lettuce bikinis?
PETA sponsored trash cans
While I understand where everyone is coming from, I think that there is a great misunderstanding about these PETA ads. All companies are equally entitled to give donations in return for advertising, that’s how our nation runs. Where many see PETA’s willingness to support our city’s parks as an imposition on our rights, I see it as a very kind gesture. After all the politics and economic dilemmas we have been through this year it is a miracle we even have parks left, let alone trash cans to be serviced. Hence, I must commend PETA for being willing to help.
That being said, I would like to remark that this same opportunity was open to all other companies including the Colorado meat industry, the meat industry just didn’t offer to help. Furthermore, the government is not partisan toward vegetarianism just because they do this. There are plenty of other areas where the meat industry literally dominates in funding and advertising. If anything, allowing PETA to advertise makes the playing field a little more fair.
Nevertheless, I do agree that any advertisements placed on the trash cans should be informative and classy, not trashy.
Money doesn’t go for food
I agree with Tony Andenno about the homeless wasting money on cigarettes. (“Money going up in smoke,” March 17) I think Tony doesn’t realize the half of it. I have never see a homeless person accept food.
My husband and I tried to give a poor homeless guy a couple of McDonald’s burgers and fries outside the WalMart on Eighth Street one day and the guy threw it down on the ground right in front of us! They do not want money for food, but for other things (drugs, booze, cigarettes.) And if you think $5 is a lot of money for cigarettes consider what that person’s health care is costing us taxpayers. Everything from chronic bronchitis to heart disease, to lung cancer, all caused by this person’s smoking is where the real money comes in. In every person or picture I have seen of homeless people, all of them are holding a cigarette. Giving them money is enabling. And being the animal lover I am, don’t get me started about the ones who own dogs!
Taxpayers sick and tired
Recently a city crew appeared in my neighborhood to remove light bulbs from street lamps. This effort was dreamed up to save energy costs for the city. Two trucks and three employees spent over 50 minutes, not including travel time, removing one light bulb. Based on the average hourly cost of an employee, the cost to remove this one bulb was over $200. To save a buck a month in utility costs the city spent $200.
Last month a city utility crew was dispatched to retap the main water line for a neighbor who was experiencing problems with their water service. An eight-man crew arrived in five different trucks and spent most of the day working on it, a job a local plumbing company’s two-man crew could have completed in a less than a half-day. At no time did more than two men work while the bulk of the crew stood around, talked on their cell phones, drank coffee, and sat in their trucks. At a time when city budgets are supposedly stretched to the breaking point their employees spent most of that day taking a break.
During this budget crisis, water and trash service were discontinued in our parks, yet every major intersection in the city will soon have cameras to spy on us.
Half of our street lights will be turned off, but not a single manager in the city hierarchy will have their bloated salary cut. Potholes continue to appear on every street but every retired ex-city employee gets their generous, fat retirement check. Stormwater projects will grind to a halt because the city’s illegal stormwater tax was voted down yet city utility employees will continue to stand around with their thumbs up their butts because eight people were dispatched to do a two-man job.
The dirty little secret in the world of small business is that government employees do far less work than private sector employees, yet receive far better wages and benefits. I am glad to see the city finally be forced to make cuts and hopefully far more cuts will be made soon. I am happy to see the city be forced to seek efficient solutions for its services. I am relieved that local and state governments all over this country are being forced to get rid of bloat, waste, and inefficiency.
The city’s budget issues could all be solved by cleaning house of supervisors and managers making far more than their peers in the private sector. This crisis would come to an end if the city cleaned house of all employees unwilling to work at the same speed, producing the same quality as private sector employees. Better yet, contract the work to private business. I know small businesses what will gladly remove bulbs for a fraction of what the city is paying its employees to do it. I know small businesses who will gladly complete stormwater projects at a fraction of what the bloated Stormwater Enterprise folks could do it. I know of small businesses who would be happy to patch potholes, tap water lines, or maintain city parks at a fraction of the cost the city pays its employees.
Note to all government entities: We hard-working taxpayers have grown tired of your arrogance and the waste of tax monies. We are tired of the way you have squandered our hard-earned taxes by promising huge retirement benefits, pushing programs with ballooning future costs, and bowing to union thug demands. We are tired of the way you cut legitimate programs that citizens want so we feel forced to vote on tax increases, all while you preserve wasteful pet programs that serve your political interests. We are tired of seeing your employees stand around doing nothing. We are tired of your abuse of public trust. Many of us are glad to see the city finally forced to simply do what every small business must do every day. We are glad to see governments forced to make hard choices, tighten their belts and stop spending $200 bucks to change out a light bulb.
T. W. Austin
Prospect Lake boaters
Each year Park and Recreation holds a semi-secret meeting about the use of Prospect Lake. When I say semi-secret, I mean the people with their gas-guzzling behemoths get a personal invitation to the meeting. Did you get your invitation?
These boaters then suggest rules and don’t care whom they annoy — in fact going around and around the lake repeatedly annoying people seems to be part of boating’s allure.
I am sure most taxpayers did not vote to redo Prospect Lake to allow a few people that crave attention to set the rules for the general public. There is not one day during the summer when motor boats are not allowed on the lake and the rest of us have to put up with them.
I hope others will contact City Council or Park and Recreation with questions about their policies.
What has happened here?
I have lived in Colorado Springs for a very long time and up until 2-3 years ago, I was glad to walk the streets and go to the parks throughout the city.
I am very embarrassed to see how people have become so oblivious to the litter on the streets, in parks and even in yards.
Why can’t people take responsibilty to be considerate to the community? What happened to Colorado Springs and the leaders of the city?
Why do only certain parts of this so-called clean city get taken care of while the middle-low-class sections are left out? Don’t the citizens of Colorado Springs have respect for each other and the city they live in? There are so many properties that need cleaning up and sidewalks that need to be redone.
Do they think the city is going to take action and get it replaced for them? Of course not, the property owners don’t want to spend the money to clean or fix up and those who rent houses surely are not going to do it.
What is it going to take to clean up the streets and communities of Colorado Springs?
Mary B. Guzman
Recently, the village of Niederzimmern in Thuringia (Germany) announced its intention to sell the potholes on its roads.
As of today, they have already sold 100 potholes at $60 a piece. Among the buyers are celebrities and politicians.
There is even a pot-hole song. For an extra charge the potholes are inscribed with the name of the donors.
You have to love it!