Friday, February 29, 2008

When Ideas Count......

Didn't I read in the SN-L a couple of weeks ago where the police officer's association was suing the city for access to exit interviews of their members? Why didn't they just ask their members what they said in the interviews?

Are we under contract with the company that provides the red light cameras? Laser craft charges $4,195 per approach per intersection. I guess this means, although the newspaper reports aren't clear, that each intersection has four approaches, north, south, east and west. $4,195 time 4 = $16,870 per intersection per month times 15 intersections (city says eventually 16 intersections will have cameras, you can adjust the math) = $251,700 per month times 12 months = $3,020,400. I seem to recall reading somewhere that revenues weren't as expected. Are the cameras paying for themselves yet?

Why does the third largest city in the state have a volunteer part-time mayor and volunteer part-time city council? The county doesn't. If the answer is because of the city charter, which was adapted in 1953, maybe now is the time to revisit the charter, make adjustments or even adapt a different system of governance.

There was an editorial in the SN-L last week about combining the city police and county sheriff's department into a metro area police department. Would that mean one big police department for the whole county? We already share a parks department and a health department. Why stop there? Why not just merge the city and county governments into one big government?

Does anyone else notice how downtown seems to be turning into a concrete jungle, especially the area around Campbell and College? Up by the courthouse by that new justice building also. And, of course, the heaviest park in the city/county parks system: Founder's Park.What's the difference between a 'parking garage' and a 'car park'? Or is it one of those 'snails' - 'escargot' things? "Waiter, there are snails in my escargot!"

I was having a discussion with a friend recently and I was talking about how I was not a fan of the ice skating rink. He asked if I had ever been there and I haven't. He believed that if I hadn't visited the place, I had no right to have an opinion about it. I disagreed with him then and I disagree with him now. But I am going to go down to the ice skating rink and check it out. Using his line of reasoning, no one can have an opinion about gay sex if you haven't had gay sex.

The friend also believed if City Council had let the rink have a liquor license and sell beer, it would be a money maker instead of a money loser. They sell beer at the ball park, don't they? Springfield Cardinals, Anheiser Busch, bet I know what brand of beer they sell: Budweiser.

Speaking of City Council and liquor in the park (I believe we voted on that in November, 2002), why did City Council put that to a public vote instead of deciding the matter themselves for us. If the reply is the people have to decide on matters like this, then why even have a City Council, just put everything to a vote. Who decides what issues will be decided by City Council and what issues will be decided by voters. Now, I know taxes and stuff like that have to be voted on, but the decision to allow beer in the parks should have been made by Council...unless Council members were afraid if they voted for beer in parks they would be voted out the next election.

I was exchanging emails with another friend recently and I asked: What is the city? Is it the guys who change the bulbs in the streetlamps in front of my house when they burn out? Is it the guys who drive the big yellow trucks and clear the streets? Is it the lady who gives my dogs treats as she reads my electric meter? Is it the bus driver who slows down to let me go around him at Pricecutter? She answered, "yes." She's right and I knew the answer even as I wrote those words. My wife and I choose to live in Springfield. I believe the city functions best when it is looking out for the greatest good for the greatest number of its citizens. And right now I got this sinking feeling that special interests are in control.

I would be interested in knowing how the questions on the phone survey are posed. Right now, I am not inclined to support a new sales tax, regardless of how well intentioned it may be. I believe we would be better to take a current tax and divert the funds generated by that tax to the pension fund. Sales taxes are a regressive tax. It seem so simple to just add another tax when we need more money, and that is simple. But there is also the theory of living within your means and taking care of core responsibilities and cutting out non-essentials.

I wonder if alcoholics can drink cough syrup with alcohol? I am color blind, I see colors but the colors I see are not the same colors you see. The color I see as red is not the same color a non-color blind person sees as red. Being color blind kept me out of flight school for helicopters when I was in the army. I like bright colors, reds, greens, yellows, oranges. Here is one of many tests for colorblindness: this is the Ishihara test. I can see '25' and I can seen enough of '56' to realize it is '56', but it's not really clear. The rest of the circles, I just see dots. One thing I do know about being colorblind: if you don't know you are colorblind, you don't know you are colorblind.


Józef Jan Hughes said...

As a recovering alcoholic, I can tell you with confidence that yes, I do drink cough syrup with alcohol in it. But only when I need to. As opposed to the bad old days (23 years ago) when I used to do shots of NyQuil for fun.

Anonymous said...

Too late, dork! You missed the season of the MSU Ice Bears, which featured sold-out nights for most of the second half of the season ... it's terrific to see the energy in that building on those nights. Probably a good thing you haven't been to the ice park ... your ranting is always more exhilarating when it is blessed with the kiss of profound and utter ignorance ... which means most of the time.

Kelly K

Busplunge said...

Was it something I said?

Anonymous said...

>>And right now I got this sinking feeling that special interests are in control.<<

That sinking feeling may just be the onset of your usual paranoid dementia ... what "special interests" are you talking about, you crazy old coot?

You need to give the city a rest and let your paranoia roam in more spacious pastures ... have you heard yet that the President has got us mixed up in a phony wary in Iraq and claims we must "stay the course? Discuss.

Anonymous said...

You've got the balls to say aloud what most of us just think. I don't call that paranoid, but it is risky if you po the wrong group.
Don't let them yank your chain.
You are on to something here.