Former Republican Candidate for House District 35
Thrift is a dimension of
common sense. Some folks
claim common sense is
uncommon. I disagree.
I think, when it matters,
everyone has common sense.
In the area of money, people usually get into financial problems because they ignore their common sense. They let their appetites and desires override their common sense. Dave Ramsey, on his Financial Peace Radio Show, laughs that what he preaches is obvious. What his show does is remind and encourage people to use their common sense and find the discipline to control their appetites. It is very easy to ignore our common sense and get the immediate rewards of selfish spending.
Westminster City Council needs to make the thrift dimension of our common sense a larger factor in our planning and projects. We have let our appetites and dreams override our thrift.
Look at our project at the Westminster Rail Station. My Council inherited this and it was too late to change the plans. There are agreements that impose huge penalties if Westminster does not fulfill the previous Council’s promises. The previous Council’s desires and dreams were ambitious and extravagant. Their appetites were astounding. Their contracts are binding.
RTD was going to build this project for FREE. Let me rephrase that statement: It would have cost the taxpayers in Westminster no additional tax dollars. RTD’s original plan was streamlined, or efficient, even I will say it was bare-bones. But it was OK. It was similar to what RTD has built in several other places.
However our previous Council wanted "betterment". Betterment was defined in terms of beauty and sizzle. They wanted more style and openness. They wanted more practicality and flow. All this was placed on top of a very flawed RTD plan. Westminster is pouring millions of dollars into plan that will not be significantly functionally improved by our money.
The over $30 million dollars Westminster has in the plan was taken from other projects that we could have done. It could have paid for the large-item pick-up we cut. It could have built a new court house. It could have been given as a Water/sewer bill rebate. It could have been returned to taxpayers as a refund. We even could have done all those things AND had some modest "betterment" to RTD's Plan.
I am not whining about the past. I am learning from the past. Right now Council is considering a $3.2 million dollar ‘betterment’ to the landscaping at City Hall. I am trying to persuade my colleagues, with some success, that our current plan is too extravagant. I think we can lessen our appetites. I think we can use the thrift dimension of our common sense and be better stewards of our citizen’s money.