Okay, so I took ONE day off. I don't think ONE day in thirty is too bad, huh? Nevertheless, I am back today!
Today's post is about budgets. And parks. And mayors who should step back and give somebody else a shot.
If you follow Louisville news, you will already have heard about the fajillion and one dollar budget shortfall that has some people getting forced "furloughs" from their jobs, and others biting their nails lest they be permanently "furloughed." So yesterday, the Mayor-who-has-worn-out-his-welcome announced his latest plans for making up that shortfall. None of it is pleasant, of course, but one really sticks in my craw.
(No, I'm not really sure what a craw is. I hope it's nothing dirty, because this is really stuck in mine.)
The one that really gets me is the abrupt and unprecedented closing of Otter Creek Park. The Mayor-who-has-really-crap-ideas-about-budgets announces that it is losing $500,000 per year, and in the same breath, informs us that the park has 500,000 visitors each year.
I'm no math expert, for sure, but even I can see at least one way to stop the park from losing money . . . CHARGE A DAMN DOLLAR ADMISSION FOR EVERYONE TO VISIT, STUPID-MAYOR!
A few other ideas: 1. Open the lodge that has never been open as long as I remember. 2. Offer seasonal memberships. 3. Host a mountain bike race. 4. Promote group hikes and dog-walking events. 5. Offer special city-wide fishing licenses. 6. Charge for all-inclusive wedding packages.
Etc., etc., and all that. I'm sure there are other people who can think of better ideas. The point is this: No one was given the opportunity to come up with better ideas. No one was questioned about whether the park matters to them.
It's no small irony that the His-craptacular-ness holds himself out as being the bigtime "fitness-crazed" Mayor, the great chosen promoter of the "Healthy Hometown." Yeah, well, this doesn't really fit into those ideals very well, does it?
At a bare minimum, the Mayor-who-hopes-we-are-all-asleep should be forced to provide a plan for the park's future. One can't just ignore a vast swath of land and hope people forget about it. Does he plan to build a wall around it? Lock the gates? Donate it to the state?
Hmm . . . that last one's not a bad idea. How 'bout it, Governor Gloomy-pants, want to come bail out a poor park?