MORNING BUZZ: Budget, Potholes and Theatre

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Good Morning! Right to it…

Budget Back-off

The West Des Moines School Board heard from dozens of teachers and parents and staff who asked that elementary school and special education positions didn’t get cut in the budget for next year.  The Board decided not to cut those jobs.  It’s an understandable choice given the emotion surrounding the situation. The District can’t raise taxes and is land locked so revenue isn’t going up.  You have to feel for everyone involved.

That said, I’ll renew my objection to comments that sounded like this: “The Board didn’t consider the voices of (insert interested group here) when making this hasty decision”.  I was glad to hear Board member say since December there have been 225 meetings and communications about the budget.  that includes Facebook and Twitter so people who thought this was enough of a priority to stand up last night might want to jump into the process a little earlier.  They may have made the right decision for the kids last night but because the change in direction cones so late in the process, you’ve just put a HUGE amount of pressure on the budget for the next two years.  How much of that could have been avoided if these budget meetings were filled to capacity in December?

And yes, you can throw this back in my face when I chain myself to Central Campus because they’re considering cutting the ancient Sanscrit classes my boys are attending…


I should first write here that The City of Des Moines has done a much better job plowing the second half of the winter.  A big thank you to whoever decided to plow the neighborhoods this last big snow!

Now, as for the potholes.  Shouldn’t they be getting at least SOME of the water out of the potholes before they put that patching material in?  It’s bad all over.  This is not isolated to one community or one road.  Spring is almost here but I’m not sure we’re all going to like the minefield of potholes that awaits.

Not enough information

That’s what the Governor has to say about the push to legalize some forms of medical marijuana this year in the Legislature.  The debate certainly went to a different level this year.  The impassioned plea of families whose children may benefit from some of the forms of medical marijuana certainly helped.

You have to respect the governor’s approach given the emotional and seemingly reasonable position of the families.   Should we make laws based on the needs of just a few people?  What are the unintended consequences of moving forward with these laws?

I still say the Charlotte’s web form of the drug should be legalized first.  you can’t smoke it…no recreational use.

Political Theatre

So The Senate Climate Action Task Force pulled an all-nighter to focus attention on the issue of Climate Change.  The group isn’t going to do anything but talk about this, despite the fact that their leader Sen Harry Reid got up and gave an impassioned speech about the need for action NOW, saying the vast majority of Americans recognize climate change as a problem in need of a solution .  Reid is the Majority Leader of the Senate and the one guy who CAN do something about this.  His Democrat majority could get a bill to the floor now to demand change.  So why aren’t they?  Could it be that this is just political theatre?  A couple of Democrats in tough races this fall decided they’d skip the Climate Change Sleepover…  Why?  Maybe this issue isn’t as widely popular or agreed upon as Sen Reed says it is.

I’m not debating Climate change and I sure have criticized Republicans for voting on issues over and over, even when they know the bill doesn’t have a chance of passing.  That said, you are the Senate Majority.  If you want to make a political point, write and pass a bill.  If Republicans filibuster, let them…and then let them answer for their  position.

It seems to me the talk about action is empty.

Maybe you feel like my writing is a little empty too?  Go ahead and comment.  It won’t be the worst thing I’ve ever heard.  Good bad, or indifferent, I always love hearing from the people who take the time to read these blogs.



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