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Old Posted Sep 15, 2019, 3:52 AM
jtown,man jtown,man is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Chicago
Posts: 3,552
Originally Posted by llamaorama View Post
My concern is that while cities always have plenty of money to build these 'trophy' parks, actual parks used by citizens seem to be ignored. I'm not saying a major downtown park or one of these high-line or waterfront type projects aren't worthwhile, because there's a benefit to everyone if central city areas become more attractive. Discovery Green in downtown Houston was a slam dunk as far as I'm concerned. Boosting a central area brings in more residents, jobs, and tax revenue.

When is the last time your city or county dedicated a totally new public swimming pool or totally new public ball fields? What about pre-emptively buying up big tracts of rural land ahead of the front lines of suburban growth now while that acreage is still cheap, so in the future it will be protected and available as a natural oasis and amenity? These things are especially absent in areas which are beyond the footprint of the city proper in aging suburbs that were built hastily without much civic infrastructure and are now somewhat run down and neglected.

It's frustrating because a lot of these little things I am talking about should not cost more than a couple million dollars in a city or county with a budget in the billions. We can't stop illegal dumping or trap the stray dogs or give teens summer jobs because that's socialist. The excuse is that we must save money, be fiscally conservative, etc. Then our leaders go put couple million on plaza downtown or add new sofas to the food court at the airport terminal and nobody says anything. In both causes this is like loose change in your car's cupholder relative to the larger budget, so it should be treated as such without double standards.

This is the flip side of having local government which represents millions of people, IMO. On SSP it has been said many times that the problem with village sized local government(think Connecticut or St. Louis metro) is that it gets overrun with NIMBYs who care about their neighborhoods and won't allow major projects for the greater good. But in cities where you have only one or two layers of local government with as many voters as a small European country, smaller scale needs are ignored because the leaders simply cannot focus on anything.
I don't think "fiscally conservative" comes to mind when I think of most large American cities lol
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