By David Hughes
Snuggled up next to my cold fireplace, I noticed in your fine fish wrap (remember, bring your own container when you go shopping), that the city of Davis has some sort of budget shortfall, somewhere in the millions? Or is it tens of millions?
Oh, great, says David, I can hardly wait to see where this is going. My eyes usually glaze over when the City Council says it doesn’t have enough money. I could use a few more bucks, myself, but I don’t see anyone offering me any free nickels. When I have a budget shortfall, I reduce spending and look for more income. I haven’t been able to rely on nickels falling out of the sky. I could live on my credit card, but that doesn’t work for very long, and the payback is a (rhymes with witch).
I also noticed, in a different issue, that there is a big “deferred maintenance” issue with the streets. The council is acting like it is a big surprise, appearing all at once. However, let me note: When I defer maintenance on the house, it is no great surprise when the roof starts to leak, although one can always hope to get a few more years out of it.
If I ignore the roof, I deserve what I get, no? Not being very responsible to the family or keeping the value of the house up, am I? Nothing wrong with hope, but it should be tempered with realism.
And who is responsible for this mess? The Lords of the Manor? The previous Lords of the Manor? Wolk I or Wolk II? Or city staff? although it should be noted, if the Lords of the Manor don’t want to hear about the rats in the cupboards, the servants will avoid mentioning them. Really don’t see anyone stepping up to the plate, do I? Cricket … cricket … cricket …
And how is the city going to pay for the failing streets? I believe it was Wolk II himself, who mentioned, in an interior paragraph, “loans,” almost like it was mumbled. Can anyone there on Russell even spell “credit card”? And please note my observations above. How are they going to pay it back? There is some sort of budget shortfall, right? It doesn’t even rain water anymore, let alone nickels.
I would mention reducing spending, but the first thing that comes to mind is that future fiasco of Fifth Street. If removing two lanes is going to speed up traffic, then I suggest we make it a dirt trail and prove Einstein wrong, by moving traffic faster than the speed of light. But the City Council has bought into it wholeheartedly, and unicorns and rainbows will appear, and we’ll heal the sick and feed the poor.
I leave it as an exercise for the reader, on how the city can increase income. I will give a hint, the second word rhymes with ax, which is not what they will use on that bill that comes due twice a year.
— David Hughes is a Davis resident.