My Optimism for 2015 Vanishes Within 12 Days

“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.”  — William Vaughan

A few posts ago I remarked that there seemed to some glimmer of hope this year with our elected leaders expressing a desire to take things in a new direction in 2015. I’m afraid the quote above captures it all — I should have made sure that 2014 left instead of expressing optimism and assuming 2015 had actually arrived.

I hate to admit but twelve days into 2015 already proves me to be a tool.

If you look at today’s Recorder article , you’ll note that the very inconsequential things the Council focused on last year will be the same inconsequential things they focus on this year: the mayor’s car, cell phones, the turf at Shuttleworth Park. Meanwhile, the important stuff like , let’s say how to revitalize the economy and quality of life in the city, gets zero focus.

To the Council’s credit however, they are excelling at advocating for their core interest group — golfers– so let’s give credit where credit is due as 2015 looks like golfers will still get the Council’s utmost attention.

If the above made you think 2014 had yet to leave, then read this opinion piece in the Mohawk Valley Compass: Villa challenges idea of city “renaissance”. You will then wonder if we even entered the new millennium, much less 2015.

What’s most distressing in the piece is that any notion of moving beyond the current state is summarily dismissed. Instead, we need to do more of the same, in other words, nothing–  except rehashing what has brought us to where we stand today. The current Council is the embodiment of the policies in the op-ed: keep doing what we’ve always done and never dare to be ambitious and assume that the future state will always be the current state.

If that op-ed piece and the Council’s actions sound compelling to you, then just remember how the current ‘protecting taxpayers’ Council did for the typical taxpayer in the city — a less than $5 reduction in property taxes.

That’s the real payoff to the strategies above: a few dollars for taxpayers while the millions that could be garnered from revitalizing the city get left behind.

It’s unsettling to debate aspects of the enlightenment and the renaissance when it feels like things are gonna get medieval on ourtaxpayers in 2015.

 

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