Howdy Everyone!! It’s Ckemtp, your friendly neighborhood EMS and Fire blogger with a few things I’d like to bring to your attention. I’d like to talk to you today about politicians. Not the politicians that are doing such a great job at managing our collective money on the national level… I want to talk to you today about the local ones, the ones who do the important work of making sure our traffic lights aren’t burnt out, that our roads are pot-hole free, and that our sewer systems don’t back up and discharge raw sewage into lakes and rivers and stuff.
Specifically, I’d like to talk about Local Politicians and public art.
My favorite writer, the legendary Humorist Mr. Dave Barry, wrote a piece about public art a few years back that you just have to read before continuing on with this post. It’s actually one of many of his articles that include things about public art, which he defines as “Art that is purchased by experts who are not spending their own personal money” it also involves the phrase “a naked man the size of an oil derrick” and has references to nuclear weapons and alcohol. I love Dave Barry, I really do.
Read this: “Does Public Art Make Sense” – Then come back once you stop ROFL’ing
Then, g’head and read THIS ARTICLE from Michigan Capitol Confidential which talks about the REALLY SMART city of Ann Arbor, Michigan… which is planning an $850,000 piece of public art. It’s really interesting to me that they’re planning this… and I really hope it isn’t made of flammable material because the city is “Facing a multimillion dollar budget deficit” and is planning on laying off firefighters to handle the budget crisis.
Here’s that article again: http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/13219
Yes, Ann Arbor, MI, the REALLY SMART city that it is, is laying off firefighters while spending $850,000 (That’s EIGHT HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS) on a “three piece public fountain”.
Oh, right… if it’s a fountain, it probably won’t burn down. That makes sense. Of course it might get filled with trash, since they’re laying off the city’s “Solid Waste Coordinator”. Y’know… the guy who oversees the trash pickup for the city. On the other hand though, they are hiring an “Art Coordinator” to, I don’t know… look at the art maybe? Maybe he’ll pick up the trash from the fountain.
Taxpayers, I’m talking to you here. Inefficiencies and, in this case, abject stupidity in local governments are killing us. If I was having trouble keeping up with the maintenance and mortgage in my own house, the first thing that I would do would not be to buy new paintings to hang on the walls. I certainly wouldn’t buy paintings at the expense of paying for trash pick-up, sewer service, or portable fire extinguishers. I think that I would pay for necessities first and niceties second. Responsible people take care of the whole Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs thing; Food, clothing, and Shelter first and buy pretty things after that. You do the things you HAVE to do well before the things you’d like to do.
At least responsible, SMART people do that… and apparently that’s not the kind of people that the voters in Ann Arbor, MI think would make good city council members.
Or do they?