Is anyone surprised by this? Salt Lake City is one of the most liberal cities in
how bout capping retirement benefits at the same level as what private companies
would? ...before we end up like california with 100's of billions of
dollars in un-funded/under-funded pensions. americans need to re-think
retirement. they should be contributing to the economy until the day they
die...as they are able to contribute. "retirement" is an oxymoron. are
we really suggesting we should feed the bank accounts of millions of people who
contribute nothing to the business, for the rest of their lives? I can think of
couple of companies that do just that. 3M is one of them. You know why you pay
$5 for a brick of sticky notes? You're paying for someones retirement. Same
for Proctor and Gamble. Tide detergent and febreze are ridiculously overpriced
because you're paying for someones retirement. I'm not saying what the
threshold for retirement benefits should be. But companies, cities, counties,
states and governments are sinking under the burden of unfunded retirement
liabilities. And they refuse to re-negotiate the terms. Ralph hasn't done
enough. They need to do just that. Renegotiate benefit packages.
Gee Mayor, how much does it cost to build those hideous bike lanes in places
that shouldn't have them, like California Ave.?
Property taxes may not have gone up, but what about the bonds we have to pay
for? The soccer fields in the northwest (not built!), the Public Services
Building, the Performing Arts Center? What about the other fees, like parking
meters downtown, that have gone up? Why did the City build a new building for
the snow plows? Why are there now twice as many planners when development has
ground to a halt? Why did 20 employees from Community Development need to visit
Vancouver? For those of you who are lamenting that the private
sector could do a better job of fixing potholes, let me just say that this
can't possibly be an expense for the City, because the potholes aren't
being fixed. The streetlights aren't being repaired. I tried for 1.5
years to get someone to give me a bid on repairing the sidewalk in front of my
house, and finally I got a bid. Potholes, streetlights, and sidewalks just
aren't alluring enough for Becker or the City Council. Theaters,
streetcars and bike lanes -- that's where it's at.
Commenting on some of the posts above, bike paths would be a good idea if enough
people would use them, but they don't. As for sustainability is aimed at
reducing pollution. I have two comments about sustainability. First, I see
many of the same people who complain about the air quality in Utah fighting
efforts to reduce air pollution. Most people agree that something needs to be
done about the air along the Wasatch Front, but when it comes to spending money
on efforts to lessen the problem, they balk. Second, many measures that are
politically correct are not economically or environmentally wise, so care needs
to taken as what programs to implement and how to implement them. If you want
an example of an unwise sustainability program on the Federal level, you only
have to look at the corn ethanol program that became politically correct during
the 2008 election. It was unwise and the politicians who promoted it knew it was
unwise, but it sounded good and they fooled many people. When you also consider
the fuel used in farming the corn, more fuel is used in its production than is
produced. Not a wise decision.
There is no such thing as a "last notch" when it comes to tightening
budgets. If there are no more holes in a belt, you just get a leather punch and
make a new one. In almost any large government organization there is a large
amount of waste even when administrators tell you otherwise. It's called
politicking. In today's economy, it's unconscionable to think about
raising taxes. If all programs are truly running as lean as they can, it's
time to prioritize and eliminate programs that have less priority.
How bout let the voters decide? Ever thought of that. Just what we need, more
conservatives forcing there beliefs on everyone else, well not here in SLC.
People MOVE HERE to get away from the conservatives and I tell ya, it's a
breath of fresh air if you ever lived south of Salt Lake County. Don't
know much about north of the county. Keep it up SLC, great place to live.
This says I am from Portland but I live in SLC. I agree with the majority of
the comments here, especially Moabmom. SLC has spent a lot of money on pet
projects that weren't needed. Did we really need to narrow some streets to
put in bike paths? Did we really need new meters so we would look like Europe?
Do we really need a low interest fund that loans money to "progressive"
businesses that probably wouldn't get money from the real world?A good businessman could clean up the waste in 6 months. Time for the
mainstream people to hit the polls and put in someone who can tighten the lose
screws on the ship.
@Dixie Independent: Actually privatizing some city services is not cheaper. The
best, most economical, and longest lasting method to maintain streets is full
depth, in place, recycling and a method that has been endorsed by the Federal
Highway Administration since 1965. You use the materials you have already paid
for to fix the roads. A city crew can do this themselves for around $.10 a
foot/$.30 a square yard. A contractor will charge $7, $8, or more plus
mobilization fees. Salt Lake City, St. George, Provo, Orem, and UDOT would all
rather pay more to get less work done.
Lets face it - SL City residents LOVE their high taxes. They continually vote
for bonding, and electing officials that do nothing but RAISE taxes."TRUTH" got it right. If the LDS Church weren't there to
continually revitalize the downtown area, it would be a total "pit".I'm just glad I don't have to live there.
because raising the taxes is ALWAYS works. I don't get this mentality lets
raise taxes every few years until we are all paying our entire income to the
gov. That will work!
There is a lesson to be learned here. Using federal monies for city salaries
(fire fighters) results in surprise increases in base line budget items when
they dry up. I would patronize the new arts center, but if it is not built I
won't loose any sleep over it. Let a private corp build it and run it.
Same with the dream of another large hotel, which no private entrepreneur is
stepping up to build. I'm a senior citizen, older than dirt, but I can do
without a lot of the feel good projects the city runs. As to
parking, a movie and dinner downtown, has a $4 - $6 parking fee attached if
street parking costs are added up. $4 will get me to Sandy, South Jordan, North
Utah County or Davis county's movies and eateries, and with the added bonus
of no pan handlers. Get a clue Ralph!
There's your answer, Mayor Becker. Read the above comments.One
man's necessities are another man's luxuries.
The last paragraph says it all "Becker touted the new bike share program,
Public Safety Building, airport TRAX line and Utah Performing Arts Center as
tributes to the city's commitment to progress even during recession
years". Commitment to "progress" and "sustainable
development" is the problem. Pretty much all requirements for any ICLEI,Ag21
city and designed to drain public funds. Ever wonder why any thing
"sustainable" always costs more than regular construction and only
benefit a few? The bicycle path/share stuff is a total waste of monies. LEED
'sustainable" building requirements cost more. TRAX costs more and
takes monies from road maintenance,because eventually they want everyone out of
private cars and on public transit. SLC office of "sustainability"
layers more expensive requirements over all aspects of local gov't. Kick
ICLEI out of SLC governing process and return to common sense governance not
mindless spending to fulfill ICLEI requirements.As for the arts center, build it
with private funds or don't build it at all. Taxpayer monies should not be
used to fund entertainment. The public has had all the entertainment they can
stomach watching our politicians dance to ICLEI's tune already.
The entire downtown has been mis managed for years under democratic mayorship.
The only saving grace the city of SLC has had is the LDS Church.....could you
even imagine what downtown would look like if all the church buildings and
infrastructure were removed.......that's right.....another democratically
Ever heard of a leather punch? If there aren't enough notches in the belt,
Sounds like Becker is running for Congress or something, where the attitude is
that just because a politician wants something, the taxpayers must get stuck
paying for it.Instead, Becker should take some lessons from the
Republicans in the Utah Legislature, and balance his budget by cutting "nice
to have" stuff.Even better, take some lessons from private
business (Larry H. Miller, or Walmart, or any other money making outfit) and
emulate their actions: don't waste money on stuff you don't need.
Well, I know they continually raise the price of parking at the Salt Lake
International Airport. I know they installed those fancy parking meters that
take credit cards in downtown SLC where the cost of parking is getting to be
exhorbitant. I know they can get rid of "politically correct" liberal
spending they don't really need, such as all the fuss about becoming a
bicycle city and having their own department of "sustainability." Those
things just suck money out of the pot and never produce anything of real value.
And I'm certain that many folks could give additional examples.Every mayor wants some new monument with his name on it; true story,
regardless of the size of the city or town.Time to quit expanding,
maybe even time to cut back some city services. Are you listening, SLC Council?
Consider privitizing some functions; ie. street maintenance, construction
projects, street light maintenance, etc. Cities have found great savings by
allowing contractors to do what public employees once did.
Alan is correct. SLC simply cannot afford to engage in the same sort of
entitlement spending that it has engaged in under Becker. This superfluous,
duplicative arts center is just one in a long stream of examples. If Becker will
not stop the hemmorraging before it is too late, the citizens must re-call him
and replace him with competent leadership.
The fundamental principle is: buy what you can afford and do not burden future
generations with debt for something that is not essential. Our government
officials must recognize the difference between nice to have and need to have.
Alan,I disagree that All will benefit from a new performing arts center.
First, only a small percentage of residents ever attend any kind of a
performance. Second, there are already venues for such events, i.e. Kingsbury
Hall, Capital Theater, Hale Theater and Abravenal Hall.Methinks that Ralph
want's to leave a landmark to his credit and no doubt have his name on it.
If the city is broke as he says, the Taj Mahal must be put on hold.
If the city faces a financial crisis, how can it build a new performing arts
center? I know such things are important and will improve the lives of all who
reside in the city, but do such considerations trump the basic question of how
to pay for it?