Thursday, January 7, 2010

Editorial: Project is a matter not of if, but how

The unnamed Courier editor says that there's no choice, we have to build it, even though home construction has crashed like an airliner through the City Hall roof, so we better pay for it. As if he had nothing to do with bringing us to this pretty pass. Shrug. Get over it.

Once again the build-or-die crowd hoists the community on its rank petard and fakes ignorance of a predictable outcome.

A responsible editor would be writing about how short-sighted Council and staff decisions over a decade forced the City into a legal corner it can't escape. About what amounts to an historic shift in City fiscal policy brought about by accident, for no useful purpose. About what this switch from conservative, pay-as-you-go spending to borrow-and-build bonding might bring, and how it fits in the context of the recent wildly popular Prop 400.

Instead, we have one of the genius cheerleaders for the uncontrolled, cancer-like growth that brought our economy low telling us that we just have to deal. Act of God.

Talk to the hand.

Mason: Making Arizona more competitive is key

I'll be asking Rep Mason about these business tax cuts this weekend on The People's Business (2pm Sat-Sun on KJZA/KJZP, 89.5 and 90.1 FM). I hope the Courier editors have something planned to follow up on this and explore how it makes sense to substantially reduce business taxes in the context of a crushing budget gap.

This idea came up in the Governor's negotiation with legislative leaders. The deal would have created a tax package to include new revenue through the temporary sales tax and expanded property tax base along with minor cuts in taxes on business -- a classic compromise. But apparently the radicals in charge of the Legislature decided they really didn't have to compromise anything, betting that the Accidental Governor will just roll over. They may be right.

PS: AZBlueMeanie has a very cogent take on Blog for Arizona.

HUSD Governing Board considering new aquatic center at Bradshaw

Yikes. Bond money (borrowed money) is available to use at BMHS, and the HUSD board thinks a swimming pool ("revenue flow"? Ack!) is the best way to spend it. Paula goes along with the gag unquestioningly, not even bothering to list alternatives presented to the board, leave alone what other schools in similar position are doing.

Here's a clue: We spend public funds on schools to make smarter kids. Neither swimming nor any other form of physical exertion for its own sake makes kids smarter. Waste of money.

The only person who seems to have his head even half in the game here is Richard Marks, in a quote near the end. Is Prescott Valley or the Courier smart enough to follow that rabbit trail?

Bobcat wasn't rabid, but ...

Joanna bases her story on a fact -- that the officially murdered cat's body tested negative for rabies. But pretty much the entire story consists of justification for killing it. Protesting too much?

The previous story included enough of that, but the editors felt compelled to pile it on here. It amounts to what feels like excess in defense of the PD action, which leads me to suspect that someone's afraid the PD really did overreact.

The context over the past year of an unusual number of rabid animal attacks and an even larger number of avoidable animal deaths at the hands of officials is inescapable. What with the followup editorial, I get the feeling the Courier is taking sides on the whole issue. Maybe that move out of downtown into the Prescott Lakes boonies wasn't such a good idea.