A local election is coming March 12, and some candidates have outlandish ideas about what this city needs for “entertainment.”
Dr. G. Sieber Pancoast, a former state senator in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, once said that the “duty of municipalities is to provide for the population those things that they cannot provide for themselves.” He cited the need for police and fire protection and for infrastructure and roadways.
Conversely, in an economic democracy, he suggested that the population should provide whatever the population wants.
This is where the entrepreneur enters the picture.
Some candidates — and regrettably I have not heard all speak — have grandiose ideas of what the city should do for relatively small groups of residents.
How much is a skateboard ramp going to cost? Aside from building the ramp, how about the cost of land, utilities, policing and parking? How many individuals will use the park, and what will be the cost?
Another idea expressed over the past several years has been a city-created series of baseball/softball diamonds that would attract traveling teams to come to Crestview for tournaments that will bring added revenue to several merchants.
Did you read that these fields would be made available for use by local youths?
I think not.
Therefore, and using Pancoast’s idea, let some citizen, or group of citizens, expend the dollars for such a project, and then they can enjoy the profits, if any.
Several months ago, I walked into City Hall and asked for a specific employee, and I was told that the employee’s services were determined to be no longer needed because of a budget cutback.
Let’s see, cut well qualified employees because of a lack of funds, and then go out and build a skateboard ramp, or a collection of ball diamonds?
Perhaps we need politicians who understand the role of government.
Bob Allen is a retired city council member who lives in Crestview.