Welcome to Libertopia
Wondering what "savage cuts" in public spending would actually mean in practice? Ask the residents of Colorado Springs:
"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."
"A budget crisis caused by the recession left Colorado's second-largest city with a $28-million shortfall in its $212-million general budget. Residents -- largely conservative, anti-tax and suspicious of their elected leaders -- resoundingly voted against a proposal to triple property taxes and keep the city humming. Mayor Lionel Rivera said the city has no choice but to cut fundamental services.