Is it any wonder taxpayers are frustrated? Recently, we learned that the Office of Fiscal Management paid $100,000 for a report examining options for McNeil Island. Seems like a couple of staffers could have come up with the same ideas over a shared pot of coffee and a box of doughnuts in the break room: continue to locate the Special Commitment Center at McNeil, or turn the island over to an array of public uses, such as a park, or commercial development. OK, the report also mentioned the importance of maintaining the island’s infrastructure in the interim and I suppose reaching that conclusion might have required an off-site meeting!
I’m no public funding expert, and realize all sorts of government departments have their own sacrosanct budgets to spend, but we’ve got potholes to fix, schools to repair and bus routes to operate. Yet, we somehow find $100,000 in public funds to spend on a McNeil Island usage study, the result of which is to state the obvious! No doubt saving $100,000 is immaterial to solving our overarching fiscal challenges, but seeing monies spent in this way leaves me wondering if there really is any institutional will, or ability, to solve our budget problems.