By TimK on Sep 19, 2011 in Art, Current Events, History, Outdoors, Recommendations
Right, I saw these new signs over the weekend. Is this some sort of county/state expenditure, or did the city have to pay for it all?
Does anyone know how much it cost the city to purchase/install them?
Why are we spending money on this sort of thing (new signs, the hanging flower baskets downtown, etc) when Ness wants to close branch libraries?
This is a ridiculous use of tax money when libraries/parks and rec need it so badly.
Pick your poison, ems. These signs are the result of a revolt a few years ago over how poorly marked the signature Duluth road was, along with the moon surface.
I believe the flower baskets are done by the biz groups in those particular areas- such as the Downtown Council.
So they got a grant. Hmmm, maybe the safety should be on before acquiring target. A city budget is more complicated than “take this money and spend it here instead of there.” There are myriad funding sources for different purposes. Library funding comes out of the general fund. Jump up and down and scream at those not paying their fair share of taxes. Jump up and down and scream at those in the legislature that want to eliminate local government aid. Don’t assume that a nice looking sign means you can’t go to the library.
These signs are the result of many years, like close to 10 years! of hard work by the Friends of the Skyline Parkway. It was grant funded and a huge accomplishment!
You’re right, TimK, I’m just so pissed off about the library and parks issues that I’m going nuts every time I see tax $ used for something frivolous. Next time I’ll do my research before screaming. I shall, however, continue to jump up and down, just cause it’s fun.
Anyway, I like the signs and they were sorely needed.
+1 Iron Oregon.
Those signs are great.
$622 per sign? I suspect some of that grant money will be going into the general fund.
What happened to the old green and white signs that were taken down? I’d imagine there are a few folks out there that would be willing to pay a few bucks for them.
If you’re interested in the old signs, I’d contact the Skyline Planning and Preservation Alliance: http://www.skylineppa.org/wsppa_contact.html
The grant paid for all of the planning, engineering, and installation costs in addition to the sign itself. This grant had been languishing for years — we’re making Skyline a priority and the wayfinding is a key part of that effort.
As far as libraries and parks go — there is a question on the ballot that will increase branch libraries to five days a week and restore parks funding. Less than $2/month for the average homeowner.
Focus that passion toward getting folks out to vote for this referendum question. There is a plan; for the plan to work, we need folks to support libraries and parks on Nov. 8.
Mayor Ness, with all respect, and at the risk of hijacking this thread: instead of telling me where to focus my passion, please focus your passion on finding a way to balance the budget that does not involve a plan to close libraries unless cash strapped Duluthians agree to even more taxes. And if Lojasmo is correct, and the signage didn’t actually cost $622 per sign, then please reroute that $ into the ‘library/parks’ portion of the general fund.
Thank you, and I do think you’re doing a good
job under extremely difficult circumstances.
Not all grants allow you to re-direct funds. That might not be an option. Mayor Ness, more than the past several mayors, has done every thing he can to balance the city budget. The problem is LGA. The legislature has been cutting it every year and there are some who want to eliminate it entirely. Where exactly will the money come from to maintain existing levels of service to the city?- A modest tax increase will have to be part of that equation. There are folks who are passionate about lots of topics and the Mayor has demonstrated his passion in running this city better than it has been run in a looooong time. Yes, we’re cash strapped Duluthians. But we will have to put our money where our mouth is if we want to maintain our libraries and parks.
The 2008 budget was $81 million — our actual expenditures in ’10 were $71.2 million. This in spite of the fact that we have raised taxes each of those years. The problem is that our other revenues have been severely cut.
Do you really think that I want to cut parks and libraries? I’ve got three little kids and we use both all of the time.
What we have done is provide a way for folks to demonstrate whether or not they support parks and libraries enough to support them through a modest tax increase. It’s up to the people to decide.
One of the main reasons we are in this mess as a country is that politicians have told folks they can have all the services they want and they don’t have to pay for it. Shifts, gimmicks, cost-shifting to the future, delaying capital improvements all served to provide more government than people were willing to pay for. Not only are those days over, but we’re paying the past-due bill.
At some point the game has to end and that’s what we’ve been doing over the past four years.
Unless people want to pay for these services, we can’t afford to offer them. That’s as simple as it gets.
That budget reduction of $10 million over a few years is significant, and a clear indication that our current mayor is taking the task of budget trimming seriously.
It is clear that we are in a period of changing expectations and re-negotiating the civic consensus regarding what a government is for. I hope we can get through this and still have a society worth living within; Mayor Ness’s approach seems like a humane, if sometimes painful, way for us to move forward.
All of that is true, but you can’t dismiss budget/mayoral criticisms simply by saying how great the Mayor is doing (true), how people have to stop being babies about getting everything and paying nothing (true), about how no one ‘wants’ to close libraries (well…) and how shifty gimmicks don’t work (true). All true, and all an easy way to blow off my point, while subtly implying that I am one of the said whiners.
My criticism isn’t part of ‘the game.’ This is my point: we already have money for libraries, if we want to use it that way. Vote for voluntary tax hikes on other city services. Why not? Why the libraries? Because, although ‘no one’ wants to cut libraries, apparently some one does; otherwise, it wouldn’t be on the chopping block. No citizen should be required to ‘vote’, i.e. to give more money out of empty pockets, to prove their love/loyalty to the public library system.
You can’t say “I so totally just love those libraries, how can you say otherwise” when you have, in fact, designed their closure. It is disingenous to maintain otherwise.
Actually, emmadogs, it’s pretty easy to dismiss your criticisms when you have demonstrated your lack of understanding how a city budget works twice while hijacking my thread.
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