December 28, 2016
The dog knew it was bound to happen. Ever since the city’s announcement of an $800 million GO Bond package that promised to fix a myriad of infrastructure needs throughout the city, this Newsdog predicted it would be pared down greatly from its original size. Last week’s sausage-making City Council session brought lively discussion, including an idea put forward that would limit the upgrades and improvements to pre-existing sidewalks, curbs and streets. The dog is relatively certain that won’t play too well in the free and great state of the Northland.
The Mayor suggested that the present set-up is the reason the city is falling apart and is $6 billion behind in general maintenance. The Dog would disagree, noting that the Mayor and Council have funneled huge amounts of cash to fund pet legacy projects such as the toy train streetcar and a downtown convention hotel while streets and sidewalks continue to crumble. There has also been much discussion about the possibility of a new animal shelter that would be part of the bond package. Over the weekend, however, animal rights activists started a saber rattling campaign based on the premise that a new shelter could be a standalone issue not related to the behemoth of a bond package. Their threat could get traction, especially given the emotion tied to the animal shelter itself. The dog wonders what other pet projects included in the GO bond package would be tempted to jump ship given the critical attention these high-dollar discussions are getting.
The Dog has said it before and we’ll say it again. By the time this thing hits the ballot in April, it will be a far cry from its original configuration with its long list of pet legacy projects being tied to it. While we were no fan of his politics, the late Missouri Governor Bob Holden once refused to enact into law any omnibus type spending bills due to some of the ridiculous and pork-laden projects hidden therein. The way this $800 million GO Bond package is shaping up, we’re certain the same type of pork project load up is bound to occur here as well.