When a child gets a dollar in his pocket his inclination is to buy candy and toys. When an adult comes into money, the adult allocates the funds to needs, not wants. These differences in behavior are what separate the responsible from the irresponsible, adults from the children.
At the Winfield village board meeting of Aug. 4, trustees were presented with three opportunities to allocate money to fix our long-neglected roads. In the first opportunity, AT&T leased space on our water tower for their cellphone antennas. That contract represented $10,800 in found money. Then the board chose between mapping trees for $12,400 and sending the $25,000 budget line item to the road budget.
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In the third opportunity, I asked that they commit $208,020 of red-light camera revenues to roads even as they spent $208,020 on designing a river walk. The village board voted down all three opportunities -- a quarter of a million dollars of road funding -- on a straight party-line split. The political party Winfield United and their Trustees Hughes, Bajor and Spande all lined up to spend money on candy and toys. Village President Birutis broke the ties voting for toys over maintenance.
It's deeply disturbing in a time when one in 11 of our village citizens is out of work that half of our politicians would vote against funding responsible maintenance and instead fund what amounts to political candy. When the subject of road maintenance comes up again, you can be sure that the Winfield United meme will be the government is poverty stricken and how we need to raise your taxes. It's for the residents to remember in 2013, that on Aug. 4 at the village board meeting, Trustee Olson, Trustee Reyes and I demonstrated we were the only adults in the room.