More than a third of the streetlights in Colorado Springs will go dark Monday. The police helicopters are for sale on the Internet. The city is dumping firefighting jobs, a vice team, burglary investigators, beat cops — dozens of police and fire positions will go unfilled.
The parks department removed trash cans last week, replacing them with signs urging users to pack out their own litter.
Neighbors are encouraged to bring their own lawn mowers to local green spaces, because parks workers will mow them only once every two weeks. If that.
Water cutbacks mean most parks will be dead, brown turf by July; the flower and fertilizer budget is zero.
City recreation centers, indoor and outdoor pools, and a handful of museums will close for good March 31 unless they find private funding to stay open. Buses no longer run on evenings and weekends. The city won't pay for any street paving, relying instead on a regional authority that can meet only about 10 percent of the need.
"I guess we're going to find out what the tolerance level is for people," said businessman Chuck Fowler, who is helping lead a private task force brainstorming for city budget fixes. "It's a new day."
Some residents are less sanguine, arguing that cuts to bus services, drug enforcement and treatment and job development are attacks on basic needs for the working class.
"How are people supposed to live? We're not a 'Mayberry R.F.D.' anymore," said Addy Hansen, a criminal justice student who has spoken out about safety cuts. "We're the second-largest city, and growing, in Colorado. We're in trouble. We're in big trouble."
Welcome to the conservative Republican world of governance. I mean honestly -- how do you have a rational conversation with people (conservatives, TeaBaggers, Fox News, etc.) who are incapable of even grasping the very uncomplicated concept that taxes pay for basic societal services such as Fire Departments, Police, public schools and libraries, mail service, parks and recreation, public transportation, roads and street maintenance, water system maintenance, electricity grid maintenance -- (and the list goes on)?
What is now happening in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and which will start happening to other U.S. cities unless attitudes change, truly should come as no surprise to those of us who've been paying attention to conservatives like Grover Norquist who a few years back boldly stated:
"My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub."New Orleans was a just a test case drowning for these fuckers. And they were obviously quite pleased with the success of that exercise, so on with the plan for the rest of the country.