Nobody Knows

Government

BY BOB RICHARDSON SRQ DAILY SATURDAY PERSPECTIVES EDITION SATURDAY NOV 7, 2015

At City Hall we have a statue called “Nobody’s Listening.” We ought to add another statue called “Nobody Knows.” Watching City Hall and the County Commission bicker on how to spend welfare money, will it be indigent care or will it be corporate welfare is a lesson in society’s priorities. The truth of the matter is nobody knows how much tax money we spend on local issues, whether it is arts and culture, environment, education, corporate, tourism, medical, indigent care, etc.  We have very little basis for making value judgments based on sound community knowledge. “Nobody Knows” what’s the return on our community’s investment in each area or the effectiveness of the programs we advocate for or against. We have anecdotal knowledge but very little fact-based evidence of success or failure! Without responsible follow through on certifiable results. 

Most of our decisions are based on politics or will it make us feel good.  “Nobody Knows” how we rank against our peers. On top of that, there are very few if any commonly known and recognized community goals that we citizens can see the community trying to achieve or work towards.

City and County elected officials all complain about the citizens advocacy of “Not in my back yard" (NIMBY) on growth and undesirable elements in the community, yet on the homeless shelter, they are leading the way on example setting!

We seemed to be based on helter-skelter chaos, with the redeeming feature of being settled on the bay which to this point has always rescued us with its magnetic draw to riches. 

Bob Richardson, Sarasota

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