Portland municipal building showcases planet-friendly design, goes 3X over budget, wounds and kills birds

Standard
The new $11.5 Million office building by the sewage plant. Note the green grass on the overpriced roof. Image: Skylab Architecture

The new $11.5 Million office building by the sewage plant. Note the green grass on the overpriced roof. Image: Skylab Architecture

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. Continue reading

Advertisements

Arlington, VA says $1 million bus stop too expensive; will build next ones for only $539,000.

Standard
A million dollars doesn't buy what it used to.

A million dollars doesn’t buy what it used to.

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. Continue reading

“A 14.5% raise? And only 90% of our healthcare paid for? We’re going on strike.”

Standard

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.” Continue reading

Become a City Manager, pay yourself $1.5 million a year, go to jail for six years, keep your pension

Standard

RIZZOIn 2010, Robert Rizzo, the Chief Administrative Officer of Bell, CA became the poster boy for local officials who rob taxpayers blind and get away with it because local news is the least-read section of the paper. Continue reading

Plug in, dream on, opt out: the scam of government energy greenwashing

Standard

SCP_Logo_RGBIf you think the Federal government has no business managing your healthcare, here’s another takeover you won’t love: Community Choice Aggregation.  In plain English, that means local politicians will force you to buy electricity from an unproven new utility company run by… local politicians. Continue reading

Detroit’s response to bankruptcy: Sell no assets; build new $450 million hockey rink

Standard
detroit hockey

Worth every penny.

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.
Continue reading

A $7 Billion hole beneath Union Station?

Standard

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. Continue reading

LA “special fund” loses $42.6 million between sofa cushions

Standard

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. Continue reading