Make Your City Better without Raising Taxes

I have been walking regularly to many errands to save money on gas, wear-and-tear on the car, and to tamp down the urge to spend money on a gym membership. While an energizing and cleansing experience, these walks reveal unpleasant sights in my city: litter, leaves clogging street drains, and stray shopping carts.

These are not earth-shattering problems of course, but chores that are likely to remain neglected with my city’s projected budget shortfalls. My city of about 125,000 people is predicted to face at least a $4 million budget shortfall. Many cuts to the budget are likely to be come from a reduction of services in public safety, parks, city beautification and library funding.

Wi

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4 Responses to Make Your City Better without Raising Taxes

  1. justme says:

    I had a ugly weedy spot space in front of my house between my fence and the road It was ugly dead and weedy so I mowed it mulched it and planted calendula it looked very beautiful maintained it that way for years

    then one day city sent me a public nusiance notice and told me i was to stop or be fined
    as a neighbor had complained about
    the flowers! I laughed as I bet they would considering their yards were full of trash so i mowed down the flowers and just let the city workers mow it once a blue moon

  2. Alex says:

    Justme: I guess this is typical of city govts. My neighborhood looks like a tornado zone — most yards are trashy, junky, weedy, with dead cars, trash cans that stay crubside for the entire week, fallen Christmas decorations, and the streets are full of deep potholes, but God help you if you put up a Garage Sale sign w/o a permit. The city swallows a camel and gags on a gnat. Had I foreseen how the neighborhood would deteriorate and how sorry the city services are (their various fees and taxes keep increasing), I would have never moved here.

  3. Lisa says:

    Its amazing how just walking can give you a sense of connectedness to your community (people and land).

  4. Cindy M says:

    Bravo, this one hits home with me, glad I’m not the only walker/bus rider who notices this stuff. I live in a fairly decent neighborhood on a corner at a busy intersection, so it goes without saying I’m used to occasionally picking up stray beer bottles and McDonald’s leftovers out in my front yard. I once had plans to plant some flower-ground cover in the strip between the sidewalk and the street, but came to the conclusion it’s easier just using the mower to blow the 4 million cigarette butts out on the street and then sweep it all up. There are rental properties on either side of me, the landlords of which seem to have tried a bit harder since I moved here several years ago and am always out in the yard. People do get to know you that way, even the police, and most applaud the effort. Anyway, my city actually is good about putting money into the parks, maintaining streets, just purchased 20 new buses, etc. I crack myself up though here lately; I’m suddenly bothered by the bus cubicle that sits cattycorner to my view every morning. It’s fairly new but has gotten gross enough that it occurred to me that some early fine spring morning, I’m gonna sneak across the street and spritz the daylights out of it. But I’m tickled the city at least chopped down all the crappy honeysuckle weedy stuff that was close to it.

    What really gets me is the incredible laziness of people. There are nice heavy, frequently emptied concrete trash containers all over the place, but people would rather throw their plastic crap down on the ground real close to these containers instead of right into the container. I do wish things would turn around more, that people would start taking more pride in their surroundings in general, especially the younger folks. Meanwhile, I’m at least getting plenty of exercise. I hate gyms.

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