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View Diary: Mayoral Malarkey: A Guide to the Big City Mayor Races of 2013 (103 comments)

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  •  cities in crisis - can't pay for maintenance (0+ / 0-)

    we have heard the estimates from civil engineering orgs about the trillion in defrayed maintenance costs

    but in cities, elected officials, under the mantra of growth, sign on to new projects. Many elected officials are in real estate. Often they get money from the federal government. Then say 25 years later when roads need to be repaired, there is no money for that.

    cities are for the most part set up a chimney orgs

    strongtowns.org provides a forum for talking about making cities more liveable and affordable. They have a recent post about Return on Investment - something cities have not done.

    this article has three short videos. Here is what is said about them:

    I realize these are nuts and bolts kind of conversations, but it is important to note that I'm not suggesting that local government must always have a positive return on investment on everything it does. I'm also not suggesting that local government should stay completely out of any endeavor that would be altruistic. All I'm pointing out is that, whatever goals or desires a local government may have, the prerequisite to accomplishing those goals is financial solvency. The higher the return on public investments a community has and the greater its financial solvency, the more capacity it has to take on other endeavors.
    That's actually not a difficult concept to comprehend.
    And in reality, none of this is difficult. In fact, there were times when I was putting these videos together that the sheer obvious nature of them caused me some private embarrassment. That was, until I stepped back and noted that no local government that I've ever seen operates in anywhere near this fashion. I shared them with a few friends last week and the consistent feedback I got was one word: radical.
    That these basic concepts are radical in America, circa 2013, says more about us than anything I could write.
    I added the bold.

    Here is the link to the article with the three videos.

    http://www.strongtowns.org/...

    Lots of good stuff on their web site as well.

    Lots of discussions

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