Local politicians keep providing much fodder for this columnist and others. They go about their business of wasting our money with never a second thought or red face.
Today's story that just keeps on giving is the combined Grand Valley Transit (GVT)/Greyhound terminal that has been promoted by County and City powers for so long. In the way of review, the County purchased some land out there on 24 1/2 Road for $950,000. Here they proposed to build that combined terminal and immediately retreated at the first hint of opposition - opposition that, to a large degree, was orchestrated by elected officials. In abandoning that plan they walked away from a $1.2 million dollar grant.
Now, months later, they have looked at the financial figures underlying the proposed merger. Under the merger GVT would assume the business operations of Greyhound and earn commissions on ticket sales plus additional revenue from food sales. NOW they have discovered the potential revenue is probably not great enough to justify the proposed merger. Wow, it seems as though they would have done the math before they started this whole fiasco.
Our fiscally conservative leaders continue to spend our money on whimsical projects without adequate due diligence or oversight. We thought business was best left to private industry. In this case, our elected "representatives" have spent more than $1,000,000 in pursuit of a business venture they have now determined was a bad deal from the beginning.
Fruita has become the latest entity that has proclaimed an end to arrests or citations for the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana for those 21 and older. In the meantime Grand Junction City Council members and Mesa County Commissioners (both seated and to-be-seated) have announced opposition to the jobs and taxes legal sales would produce. From a legal standpoint some fear there would be a liability in the licensing and taxing of a business which remains illegal at the federal level. Hopefully, the feds will get out of the way of business with their unnecessary regulations, and give those in local opposition less reason to say no to job growth in Mesa County.
Regardless, the rules implementing the new law are still about a year away, so there is no reason for immediate action by our well intentioned governmental nannies.
There is no reason to vote for any requested tax hikes or TABOR overrides because our government officials are going to do what they want anyway. Some years ago (I do not recall the specific tax increase being requested) we were told that Highway 50 between here and Delta would never be completed if we failed to approve the tax hike. We did not approve it; the highway was finished. We were told the police department and fire department buildings were in eminent peril of collapse unless we approved a tax increase. We failed to approve it twice. There is a new police station, and the fire station will be complete soon.
The library was not adequate for demand and needed more taxes to achieve their mission. No new taxes were granted, and it looks as they also found a way of getting their needs met.
We have been misled so many times, why should we ever believe they need more money? Their free spending ways seems to indicate a never-ending supply of our money to lavish upon cronies, pet projects, and poorly envisioned ventures. They clearly have enough.
Those who advocate for smaller government certainly got their wish granted by the outgoing Congress. It was the least productive in more than 70 years with fewer bills passed and new legislation having a less than 10% probability of enactment. They will get more of the same with the incoming Congress which will work only 126 days in 2013. They certainly do not seem inclined to reverse public opinion of their lackluster performance and work ethic. There will be no pay deductions for the reduced workload.
Quite the contrary my friend, full pay, benefits and perks are in order. One would wonder if those "serving" in the Washington have any sense of duty. They certainly have no sense of shame. They are the "takers" they warn their base about, feeling entitled to their inflated salaries, gold-plated health care, too-generous retirement packages, and other perks provided on our dime. Let us see some budget reductions NOW and let us see it in Congressional salaries and expenses.
Jim Hoffman is a local real estate broker and investor who is trying to move from semi-retired to retired. He needs to retire to devote more time to unpaid interests such as skiing, camping and fishing.