you have to be effing kidding me
So this week, it's been reported that Mayor Reed is America's best mayor, and the 3rd best in the world.
I had to do a double take and say "Are you Effing Kidding me?" The city is broke! They want to sell the Senators, McCormick Island, city office buildings, and those ill fated Wild West artifacts. Crime, both violent and petty is up. The city's tax burden is about to get more burdensome to homeowners. City Council and the Mayor frequently, and childishly, spar over everything and the city administration wants to take the typical American credit-card approach to getting out of debt, which is borrow more money. The Incinerator is a money burning piece of shit. I am positive that if they could, they'd sell advertising space on all city vehicles and sell street names to corporations. Istead of meeting your friend at the Y on the corner of Front and North you'd meet them at the corner of Yahoo dot com/Penn National Field Street and Graystone Bank Coca-Cola Nabisco Avenue. Give the mayor time. I'm sure he'll come up with it.
I wish I knew the criteria. But I did stop and think. And not being a Harrisburg native and expecting something else my bias got in the way. I hear that 15 years ago the city was a dump. Now, it's tolerable. It has a private university. Some neighborhoods have been redeveloped with decent housing. Apparently the schools are better. HACC is coming to Midtown. Mayor Reed can take a lot of credit for that. Thank you.
But could it be better? And did he deserve a reward for leading a broke city with a devastated middle class that's rapidly moving out and up Silver Spring, Hampden, and Lower Paxton Townships? I think yes to the first, and no to the second. Unless there's improvement and a total structural overhaul of how the city does business, it's very unlikely I would consider buying a home within the city limits (that is, assuming I don't have other plans to return to graduate school elsewhere in the United States.) We shall see what the Census says in four years, but if you want your city to make a comeback, you have to not run huge deficits and spend money on vanity projects like the Wild West Museum, or boondoggles like the Incinerator.
So again, I say, are you effing kidding me?
PS I really like the Patriot-News's blogger Justina Ireland.