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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fix The Freaking Roads

Lets discuss the number one problem that concerns Palm Bay tax payers. Its not the home break ins or the crime rates, Its not the new money sucking red light cameras or even our rapidly declining property values. The number one problem of concern is the same damn problem plaguing this city since I took up residence here twenty five years ago.. ROADS!
Politician after politician has been elected to office in Palm Bay on the promise of fixing the roads. Since the GDC days it has been roads. You newer residents have no idea of how bad it used to be. Let me tell you it was a whole hell of a lot worse way back then . I know you plunked down your hard earned money to buy a house here and live the dream and you have seen that dream lose half it's value or more and still you have to drive on shitty roads that will destroy your car. I feel your pain we were there and believe me it was a whole lot worse.
The City is to blame with the continued growth with no real plan just greedy fingers wanting a piece of the tax pie. The roads did get better for a while only because the tax payers of Palm Bay who at that time probably numbered half of what the population is today voted ourselves a huge tax increase. We bit the bullet and paid the highest millage rate in the County. We did get our roads fixed but we paid for it. It was a fair deal and not everything that was promised was paved but a whole lot of roads were paved.
The blame for today's problems falls directly at the feet of our current mayor Mazziotti and the city leaders such as our sub par City Manager Feldman. This has been the result of poor managing and just plain and simple shitty planning. During the past decade or so of boom times here in Palm Bay, houses were popping up like mushrooms all over the city from one corner to the other. There was no road plan what so ever to fix the roads. I guess at the rate things were going our wonderful city government figured every house in Palm Bay was going to be worth a million dollars and tax money was going to keep pouring in. The City had no problems pouring tax dollars into the Bayside area. All roads leading into BaySide were spruced up and paved by the city in order to attract even more growth to the Bayside area and to attract golfers to the failing Majors "world class" golf course. The tax payers will eventually be financially responsible for all 18 holes.
The Mayor Mr. Mazziotti has been involved in Palm Bay City Government in one position or another for about 20 + years so you can say this has been on his watch.
There was a time when Mr. Mazziotti had the City's best interest at heart, But as what happens to so many who chose government as their career he has changed and lost his way. I watch him up there at the meetings now and the there is barely a spark left in him. I think he is just hanging in there to finagle some kind of pension.
Our City leaders keep trying to grow the City by annexing more land . They can not even manage or provide the basic services the residents deserve. They have failed in a big way to maintain or even improve what we already have while always dreaming big dreams of baseball stadiums and Emerald cities paying thousands for this study or that study. Its been over twenty years and that belt way is still just a dream.
Their plan to fix our roads was thrust upon us this year in the form of a huge tax increase. A vote on a referendum on roads with an economic growth plan thrown in for good measure that was going to create jobs. The City leaders plastered the town with signs especially in the areas where the roads were the worse. They tried to tell us if we did not vote for this plan Palm Bay would just about cease to exist. They tried to ram it through like the President rammed his failed stimulus package through trying to scare everyone. Our referendum failed on that election day as it should have because it smelled really bad it was full of bullshit. There was no value for OUR money. It contained an irresponsible bond issue that was a bad deal for the taxpayers and there was also the fairy tale claims about all of the jobs that were to be created. Bullshit!
What is needed is a Road plan which is fair and responsible and concern only roads. None of this economic crap. Just Roads and it should be for a set period of time and again only roads . No pretty median strips with nice landscaping and sprinkler systems JUST ROADS!Built by contractors that bid competitively and by our own public works crews. Now if you came to us with something fair and straight forward with out all of the other bullshit tacked on and it gave us value for our dollars it might be able to pass.
Our City Government seems incapable of making something like this happen. I doubt very seriously if any of them from the Mayor on down have a clue No one seems to get it except maybe for council woman Isnardi she seems to be the only one. That does not give us much hope. Maybe its time to clean house and throw the bums out City Manager Feldman needs to be shown the door with out some golden parachute hanging out of his back pocket.
Get a plan together. If it is fair and gives us the value for our money and will improve our quality of life by fixing our roads and only the roads the taxpayers just might be a bit more willing to fork over their hard earned cash into the Palm Bay money pit. We all know our roads suck and we are sick of it.