When a building that was budgeted to cost $3.2 million winds up costing $11.5 million, something is likely to hit the fan. But in this case, the unhappy noise is local and migratory birds smacking into its environmentally-hip, LEED-Certified wall of windows.
Transit Oriented Development is an innocent-sounding term that gets some critics of local government all wee-wee’d up. In a nutshell, it’s based on the belief that your Subaru is killing the planet, so we should all ride our bikes in the rain to a train that drops us at a station just a second soggy bike ride to the office.
Will County, Illinois might not be a household word, but its county seat is Joliet, which was made famous by the Blues Brothers. The official county website says it’s one of the fastest growing counties in the United States, and offers “fantastic business opportunities and a remarkable environment to all who live, work and play here.”
For decades, Detroit’s Democrat politicians have steered the city towards an inevitable crash that finally arrived in June 2013, when the city officially declared Chapter 9 bankruptcy and Kevyn Orr was federally appointed as an emergency manager, an act that turned Detroit Mayor Dave Bing into a figurehead as politically powerful as Queen Elizabeth.
Picture an unholy alliance of local government liberals and Federal bureaucrats, then take that to an even more frightening level by factoring in the classic liberal love of public transportation. These cash-burning forces converge at the one city in America that combines the worst excesses of local and Federal government: Washington, D.C.
Some critics (me) contend that local governments slice their budgets into far too many “special funds” that are designed to protect pet projects, so that a surplus in one fund – let’s say the Porcupine Mating Area EIR Fund – can’t be used to fill a deficit in another special fund – like the Bike Share Feasability Study Fund.
In the heartland, where the cost of living is assumed to be more reasonable than San Francisco, Los Angeles, or New York, you might expect public sector compensation to be more reasonable, as well. But not in Joliet, IL.