I attended a regional meeting this morning that showcased how area counties, cities and townships have spent their Community Development Block Grant and Housing and Urban Development monies.
Improvements in our little park were one of the projects showcased from our county. We transformed a small eyesore piece of property with an abandoned building into a nicely landscaped entryway park with a gazebo, fence, parking, picnic tables, etc. It has made such an impact that the community, which qualifies as low to moderate income, is making preparations for a home and garden tour next year, with tickets sold at the gazebo in the park. This project strenthened feelings of community pride among many residents, and that translated into increased pride in caring for personal properties.
Many projects shown were beneficial to the taxpaying public, but then there were others…
The most disconcerting one was the use of many tens of thousands of dollars of CDBG funds – to organize 800 people living in dilapidated apartments for the purpose of forcing the landowner to provide them with better housing.
Think about that for awhile. The federal government gave local officials tax money, to be used to organize renters together to harass a private citizen. The money wasn’t given to build anything, or to fix anything – it was given soleley to organize with the intent of pressuring the property owner.
For all I know that property owner may have been the biggest sleazeball landlord in the history of the world, but that doesn’t matter. Any deficiencies should be a case for zoning enforcement and the court system; the federal government has no business funding community activism against private citizens.
Once the landowner was defeated, the federal government then came through with an additional $100 million and built new housing for the people. They now live in apartments owned by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Here’s my question. If you don’t like where you live, whatever happened to working hard so you can improve your condition? When did it become the responsibility of the taxpayer to provide you with nicer housing, or the government to help you agitate for it?
The speaker who bragged about his role in organizing those tenants then went on a rant about people who go to anti-tax rallies (he never did use the term Tea Party), and said he was concerned about the negative tone coming from those rallies. He minimized the number who attended a local rally yesterday, stating it at about 20% of what the local media is reporting, and ended by lecturing us on tax spending. Taxes and spending aren’t the problem, they are the solution to our economic problems.
Study the issues and the candidates well, every single election. Knowing where this man is from, I”m sure he represents his constituents well. Make sure your officials represent your beliefs well too.