Friday, October 29, 2010

Why local governments are going broke

Because they spent like fools when times were good:

The city held a "Curtain Up" ceremony for the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center on Sunday afternoon, letting residents tour the 14,864-square-foot, 324-seat waterfront performing arts facility and watch performances by several local arts groups, including many which will be performing at the center after its grand show opening Saturday. . . . Mayor Susan Gotleib watched the festivities, as did City Manger Eric Soroka and Commissioner Bob Diamond. For them and the other commissioners, the opening of the center is the culmination of years of work that began after Hurricane Wilma destroyed the city's old library in 2005.

A city with a population of approximately 30,000, centrally located in the middle of the Miami / Ft. Lauderdale / Palm Beach metropolitan area featuring dozens of public and private performing arts venues, committed to spent millions of dollars at the height of the real estate boom on building this 324 seat theatre. Millions were spent on constructing, and millions will be spent in the future on maintaining, this small, unnecessary and duplicative venue.

Whether it was sports complexes, administrative office buildings or cultural facilities, cities across America spent and spent and spent on capital outlays without considering the costs of repayment or ongoing future maintenance obligations. This is why local governments are going broke - - because they deserve to go broke. And, maybe after they go broke, the people who approved these Taj Mahals will be kicked out of office.

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