– It’s possible Mayor Tom Richards is trying to scare everyone by suggesting we close the soccer stadium, ax the mounted patrol, close libraries, cut firefighters and forego parking garage maintenance.
He admitted as much. The Democrat and Chronicle reports:
Shuttering the soccer stadium would save the city $415,700 — something Richards points to as an eventuality if the city doesn’t fix its structural budget problems. Garage maintenance costs the city $1.5 million a year. But would Richards really think of not doing it? “I put it on there just to make a point,” he said, “and hope people will look at it and think, (cutting) that is a dumb thing to do.’”
The mayor will present a bunch of options to the public on how to close a $25 million budget gap. As he did last year, he will ask residents to tell him what’s on and off the table. His strategy gives the public input and makes people take the budget very seriously. While the budget gap is a problem, somehow our mayors manage to solve it every year without huge pain.
The police chief told me last year he valued the mounted the patrol in a report I did on the unit. Police agencies across the country were cutting their mounted units, but not Rochester. I guess times have changed.
The soccer stadium is a rather shocking suggestion. The city and state have millions of dollars invested in the facility. It’s home to the Rhinos and Flash and a number of other activities. While it requires a subsidy, so do other assets. The costs of shutting it down may be more than keeping it open. A giant empty stadium in an already-struggling neighborhood would have consequences.
– Maggie Brooks says it’s too early to talk about her positions on issues. Really?
– I am a fan of playing Beethoven to disperse teen loiterers. This is a hysterical look at weird anti-loitering technologies, including harsh lights that expose acne.