Money for Everything Except a Police Station

The St. Tampa Bay Times published my letter to their editor today on the failure of the City of St. Petersburg to fund a new police station.  The most basic function of government – security for its citizens- is neglected as so many other projects are pursued for political reasons and due to mismanagement of taxpayer dollars.  There will be more to come from the Sun Beam Times on this story!

The Letter:

Station should be a priority

So St. Petersburg can’t afford a new, $64 million police station? Soon will come the siren song of raising taxes. However, remember where our city “leaders” have placed their priorities.

A $50 million memorial pier to the politicians? Check. Billions planned for doomed light rail? Check. Double-wide sidewalk/bike paths that bikers ignore? Check. Raising up curbs along streets that were paved too high in the first place? Check. Outrageous government employee pensions and health benefits that the private taxpayer could never have on their own? Check. Money for well-connected private charities? Check. Well over $1 million a year of subsidy money for the Rays with low-cost police officers directing traffic at games? Check.

Seems the city leaders are good at spending money on everything — except on what we really need: a new police station.

David McKalip, St. Petersburg

curb   curbrepair    Note how the street curb to the left is covered completely with asphalt.  Over years of paving and repaving, the city had to “raise the curbs”.  This is rather expensive and an analysis of costs is pending by the Sun Beam Times.  However, it is clear that all the associated work to raise curbs (redoing sidewalks, bus stops, landscaping) also has increased costs. Better planning on the part of the city could prevent these costs.  Because of wasted money here and many other places, the city doesn’t have money to build a police station.

The city need responsible leadership and better management to be better stewards of taxpayers’ money.