Friday, July 6, 2012

It's Only Money (Petard Hoist Part Deux)

Back on June 8, the Trojan Heron blogged about the over-budget redesign of Odlin Park on Lopez. I am unaware of any pressing need to redesign this park, and in fact, many long-time Lopezians have a soft spot for the park the way it is. They consider it the only park that has truly been the "locals" park on Lopez over the years. In the old days, the island even hosted the 4th of July celebrations there, complete with a community ball game ("marrieds" versus "unmarrieds") mixed in with other park festivities.

But someone got it in their head that the park had to be redesigned, including the addition of many more camping spaces for tourists. For some, this is just one more example of how the local government here will go to any lengths to make the place friendlier to tourists and less friendly to islanders.

The cost overruns at Odlin are attributed substantially to the cost of complying with a variety of environmental regulations.  As mentioned in the earlier post, it would seem the County is squarely in its own crosshairs on the CAOs/SMP since it will be increasing its own costs. Odlin Park is the harbinger of things to come.

In the attached video, you'll see what a circus we have become. As long as it's "within our bonding capability," it seems that the jokers on the Council will laugh it off and go along with anything. I wonder how long before our bondholders decide that the financial risk associated with our grant-loving, debt-making, economy-killing approach to running a County is no laughing matter.


  1. I wish more citizens would watch the video feed or the recording of these meetings--they are eye-opening. (They are available on the County website under County Council videos.) They're all laughing, but I feel like weeping.

  2. Hire a top-heavy staff of planners and engineers and you'll get planned and engineered into oblivion. Soon we'll have our cute Disneyland (er, Scenic Byways) signs everywhere (everywhere but Lopez and Shaw--how did that happen?)

  3. I hear there is a big grant coming to help the Potemkin Village Community Land Trust provide affordable housing for homeless planners.

  4. Cities are going bankrupt (,0,5646419.story) here and there. Counties can go bankrupt, too. Sometimes, Commissioners, you just have to STOP spending on non-essentials.

  5. We live in a time when fiscal frugality is paramount to economic survival for the County AND the state and country. It is so very obvious from the video that the Council has zero fiscal control. Also, the Council members that "abstained" should have voted NO. Abstaining was "dodging the bullet" and they should have shown us their backbone...The Council had all of the information about the park, so, abstaining is an improper vote. The Council really does not care about residents just their own out-of-control taxing and spending Agenda.

  6. A thoughtful budget in an average family keeps expenses under control, and sets aside reserves for unexpected costs. Yet we see a chuckling, overspending Council agreeing to go over the budget for WANTS, not NEEDS! Additionaly, there is absolute ignorance as to what the enforcing, and monitoring costs are. Their legacy will mean nothing if they run the county budget into the ground.

    I ask the Council as a whole, "Have you no shame?" You are spending on unfunded projects.

  7. An inconvenient reality
    Unfortunately for the citizens of our county we are experiencing the same refusal to embrace reality that exists in our federal government. Overspending the checkbook is NOT reality for those of us who are fiscally responsible to our families. Sooner or later you have to balance the books to remain solvent, there is no other option. Wishful thinking and ignoring reality are not the solution.
    HOW do we begin reverse this mentality … DEMAND change in government by exercising your power to decline re-election to those in all levels of government who cannot curb their insatiable appetite for power through continued reappointment. VOTE to eliminate unnecessary programs and initiatives and include yourself in the analysis. If we want it to be about the environment be honest with yourself and adjust your personal needs and goals accordingly. Growth and the Environment can peacefully coexist but be honest about your own motivations. The missing keywords for our County officials, Friends of the San Juans, the Land Bank, Federal Government and others is transparency and honesty. We heard so much about transparency in the last election that some of us even worked up a degree of hope for change. Unfortunately we are going bass-ackwards at lightspeed and every one of us must CHOOSE to make a difference and take control of our lives and government. Get involved, prepare to give of yourself, prepare to make sacrifice for the greater good.