In these most financially painful of times, many of the same crocodiles weeping over missed opportunities for frugality are also sunning themselves, lying in wait for unsuspecting, lifeblood-bearing public constituents. And, while President Full Spend Ahead ranks as “Leviathan,” the species is rampant, particularly in Rockford, with its notoriously swampy ethics.
Even so-called “user fees”—supposedly so fair and honest and precise—have now been rendered fully corrupt and meaningless. Last October, simply to take a fresh, juicy bite out of our backsides ($36 annually)—and to increase the size of government: $1.8 million in new, discretionary money—at our own, too-long-serving financial director’s recommendation, our city fathers (ha-ha) raised garbage-removal fees without actually raising them.
Now, even someone like me who lives alone has no choice but to pay $170 annually—at least until the next REAL rate increase—for most weeks of the year, almost nothing. Such a bargain! But for Rockford, stealing or “creative profligacy” like this isn’t considered tawdry and shameful. No, rather, it means Rockford is “progressive” and “going places.” Yessirree!
If we keep this up, the only place we’re going is to hell. “Immoral means cannot bring moral ends.”—The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Decades of MetroCentre-dedicated sales-tax revenue is stolen, and no one cares. We pass an infrastructure referendum so we won’t have to borrow, and we’re borrowing anyway. Some ($1.6 million) of our new $5 million “bridge” funding is “street-dedicated.”
From the March 24-30, 2010 issue