No more parties

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 6, 2005

City management is doing the right thing in writing up some rules governing city spending on community events.

The action was prompted by concern on city council over the expenditure of more than $7,000 in public funds on the recent Lake Kennedy Boosters’ Community Day event.

Council members were right to complain.

Email newsletter signup

Such spending is nothing more than pork, to help politicians curry favor with the voters in their boroughs and local governments should be beyond that.

We desperately need local governments to be as frugal and sensible as possible because they are our last line of defense.

Pork-barrel spending is the rule rather than the exception in Washington and Richmond, where special interests, wanton tax cutting for the wealthy and profligate spending are all deeply entrenched and on the verge of sending the state and nation into bankruptcy. As such, local governments have to be responsible, and $7,000 for a party is anything but responsible.

Councilman Charles Brown’s argument that such spending is warranted because the Cypress area is somehow different than the rest of the city seems a bit of a stretch; and his implication that refusing to fund the party would somehow be unfair is simply ludicrous.

Mr. Brown needs to pay for his campaign rallies the way every other politician does, by soliciting donations from people interested in seeing him elected.

Granted, drug and prostitution activity in Cypress may be more rampant than other areas of the city, as Brown suggests, but the taxpayers are already paying to address the problem through something called the Suffolk Police Department.

People have come to expect a lot of services from their government. When it gets to the point that they are expecting government to stage elaborate parties for them, that’s a little over the line.

We applaud efforts by the city to set some ground rules where participation in community events is concerned and those councilman who blew the whistle on this thing are deserving of the entire community’s thanks.