Tuesday, January 31, 2006

State of the City Annual Follow-up

Each year we've looked at past State of the City speeches to see what was proposed and what was actually accomplished. See last year's analysis, as well as 2004's.

A quick recap: Two years ago, the mayor trumped more money for schools, city-school partnerships in administration, and more environmental education. He accomplished essentially nothing of what he promised in 2004.

Last year, the mayor focused on more government intervention in development, a personal crusade against global warming, and a promise to keep pressing for wasteful and espensive mass transit systems. Once again, not much accomplished here.

The interesting thing is that he has focused very little on actual operations of city government. What does city government do? Or, rather, what should a city government do? Provide police and fire, run a water and sewer system, provide for decent roads, and create an environment where business and people want to move to.

But what, if anything, has the mayor proposed to ensure that these things are provided? Nothing. The mayor confuses the health of the city with the growth of city government. A constant theme in his speeches is that state revenue-sharing has been reduced. City government should remain small and relatively non-interventionist in the economy. Less money for city government means fewer busybody bureaucrats, and that's like kryptonite to politicians.

It's most important that the city stick to core city functions. However, this mayor and city commission continue to insist that it is their role to practice social engineering. When government picks the winners and losers, we all lose.

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