Howdy Everyone!! Itís Ckemtp, your friendly neighborhood EMS and Fire blogger with a few things Iíd like to bring to your attention. Iíd 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 levelÖ I want to talk to you today about the local ones, the ones who do the important work of making sure our traffic lights arenít burnt out, that our roads are pot-hole free, and that our sewer systems donít back up and discharge raw sewage into lakes and rivers and stuff.
Specifically, Iíd 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. Itís actually one of many of his articles that include things about public art, which he defines as ďArt that is purchased by experts who are not spending their own personal moneyĒ it also involves the phrase ďa naked man the size of an oil derrickĒ and has references to nuclear weapons and alcohol. I love Dave Barry, I really do.
Read this: ďDoes Public Art Make SenseĒ Ė Then come back once you stop ROFLíing†
Then, gíhead and read THIS ARTICLE from Michigan Capitol Confidential which talks about the REALLY SMART city of Ann Arbor, MichiganÖ which is planning an $850,000 piece of public art. Itís really interesting to me that theyíre planning thisÖ and I really hope it isnít made of flammable material because the city is ďFacing a multimillion dollar budget deficitĒ and is planning on laying off firefighters to handle the budget crisis.
Hereís 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 (Thatís EIGHT HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS) on a ďthree piece public fountainĒ.
Oh, rightÖ if itís a fountain, it probably wonít burn down. That makes sense. Of course it might get filled with trash, since theyíre laying off the cityís ďSolid Waste CoordinatorĒ. YíknowÖ the guy who oversees the trash pickup for the city. On the other hand though, they are hiring an ďArt CoordinatorĒ to, I donít knowÖ look at the art maybe? Maybe heíll pick up the trash from the fountain.
Taxpayers, Iím 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 wouldnít 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 Maslowís 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 youíd like to do.
At least responsible, SMART people do thatÖ and apparently thatís not the kind of people that the voters in Ann Arbor, MI think would make good city council members.
Or do they?