Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Wouldn't it be Wonderful?

It seems that when a person is elected to any political position they get the, ‘Wouldn’t it Be Wonderful” disease. The symptoms of this disease is that they begin to dream these wonderful projects that enable them to spend other peoples money.
We had a local elected official who for years tried to convince me that his “projects” were done with “free money”.
"It comes from the “Feds” or the “State” so there really is no cost!" I could never make him understand that neither of these Fairy Godmothers had any money if they didn’t take from someone.
We have seen some really interesting “Wouldn’t it Be Wonderful” projects in the past few years. Our local elected school board got the bug and proceeded to undertake a three high school, two hundred million dollar building project. This is a city school system that has lost enrollment for the past twenty years.
The ‘Wouldn’t it Be Wonderful” dreamers on the board decided that if they razed the local high school and built three new schools it would bring families and students back into the system. The local high school has had one of the lowest graduation rates of any school in the state for years. What expense?
“ But we can operate three schools as cheaply as one”, stated the Chairwoman of the Board. Three cafeterias , three athletic facilities, three utility bills. How can this dream be?
The plan came about because there were more “Wouldn’t it Be Wonderful” dreamers than there were mathematicians.
A school building that would have been the pride, the flagship of ninty-eight percent of the systems in the state was razed, destroyed…” so the students could feel good about themselves” It doesn’t matter that some of the few that stay long enough to receive a diploma can’t read it. They feel good about themselves.
We now have three failing schools at three times the operating costs. Enrollment is still falling.
Oh “Wouldn’t it Be Wonderful” if education wasn’t a bottomless pit that you can’t throw enough money into to overcome its problems.
Self esteem cannot be bought it must come from within.
Now our city fathers, in their infinite wisdom, have another “Wouldn’t it Be Wonderful”, boondoggle nearing completion.
A fifteen million dollar amphitheatre in the middle of an old garbage dump, near the river. Alabama in the Summer is a steam bath everywhere. The humidity runs to 98% on a cloudless day.
Temperatures easily reach the high ninety’s with a number of one hundred plus days thrown in for good measure.
In the Winter we get a cold Northwest wind and rain. So let’s build an entertainment center with no roof, concrete seats facing the Northwest. That makes sense? Next question who is going to appear in this arena? Next question , who is going to book these great acts. Someone with a $600,000.00 management contract?
Next question who is going to attend these great concerts?
The University of Alabama built a $500,000.00 amphitheatre that never got any support. They had the sense to close it down so why is a $ 15,000,000.00 boondoggle going to fare any better.
‘Wouldn’t it Be Wonderful” if frogs had wings, then they wouldn’t bump their little bottoms

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