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They Built It But No One Came, Half a Million Dollars Wasted

2015-02-20-6

Friday, February 20, 2015, by Buddy Saunders

What kind of leadership does a city get when few citizens vote? The city ends up with what Arlington now has, a gaggle of big spenders bent on saving the environment under the laughable guise of “economic development.”

If you follow government and university thought and the agenda that flows from it, the message you get is that energy from fossil fuels, cars, private homes, and a lot of other things Americans aspire to all bad things.

The ideas that spring from these self-anointed mental giants are couched in such terms as “smart growth,” the implication being that if you disagree with them then you favor “dumb growth.”

We here at Opinion Arlington favor what the mental giants see as “dumb growth.” For example, one of our dumb ideas is that a car or truck moves people, goods, and services better than a bicycle. We also know fossil fuels deliver the energy we need at a cost well below that of wind and solar. And we believe that, given the option, most people would prefer to own a home rather than rent an apartment.

Those that think smart disagree. Mayor Cluck and his City Council believe Arlington needs all the apartment buildings it can get. If you want to build a high-density apartment building anywhere in Arlington, you’ll be showered with taxpayer-funded tax breaks. And if you are among the statistically nonexistent bicycle commuters in Arlington, you’ll be pleased to see more and more of the city’s streets “traffic-calmed,” meaning lane reduced or otherwise narrowed, to accommodate bicycles.

The problem with spending taxpayer money to accomplish nutcake goals is that such activity is expensive while yielding no benefit, or even negative benefit, for the ordinary citizen.

Here’s a perfect example. The Lamar Street Park and Ride facility (900 West Lamar near the Kroger) represents a true monument to our mental giant leaders. In 1999, at a cost of over half-a-million dollars, the city built a 550-car parking lot with a large covered pavilion with the expectation that it would fill with carpoolers and thus do wonders for the city’s unacceptable carbon footprint.

Drive by that lot today and you’ll see as few as one car and on a good day as many as eight or nine, but never more. The citizens of Arlington are still paying for this white elephant to this very day, maintaining it with yet more tax dollars.

Mayor Cluck and his council have never apologized for this gross waste of taxpayer dollars. Instead, these mental giants march on with even bigger and “smarter” plans for Arlington such as the impending multi-million dollar narrowing of Abram Street in a bid to make it “pedestrian and bicycle friendly.” Only in Arlington do we spend millions of dollars to reduce a street’s usefulness.

Sometimes it is better to be “dumb” than be a “mental giant.”

Feel free to forward this column to family and friends.

Ready to put your two cents in? Comment online and/or….

Email entire City Council:

email the entire City Council with one click!

Or to contact individual City Council members:

Mayor Robert Cluck
(robert.cluck@arlingtontx.gov)
817-459-6121
First Elected May 2003

District 1 (north Arlington) Charlie Parker
(charlie.parker@arlingtontx.gov)
817-459-6122
First Elected May 2012

District 2 (southwest Arlington)  Sheri Capehart
(sheri.capehart@arlingtontx.gov)
817-459-6122 or 817-483-4869
First Elected May 2004

District 3 (southeast Arlington) Robert Rivera
(robert.rivera@arlingtontx.gov)
817-459-6122 or 817-557-1542
First Elected May 2005

District 4 (west central Arlington) Kathryn Wilemon
(kathryn.wilemon@arlingtontx.gov)
817-459-6141 or 817-461-9615
First Elected May 2003

District 5 (central Arlington) Lana Wolff
(lana.wolff@arlingtontx.gov)
817-459-6141 or 817-462-5224
First Elected May 2003

District 6 (At large, represents all of city) Robert Shepard
(robert.shepard@arlingtontx.gov)
817-459-6122
First Elected June 2008

District 7 At Large, represents all of city) Jimmy Bennett
(jimmy.bennett@arlingtontx.gov)
817-459-6122

First Elected June 2008

District 8 (At Large, represents all of city) Michael Glaspie
(michael.glaspie@arlingtontx.gov)
817-459-6122
First Elected May 2012

One Response to They Built It But No One Came, Half a Million Dollars Wasted

  1. Julie Cagle

    May 2, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    I am a bit confused by this article. None of these people were on the city council or were mayor at the time this parking lot was approved or built but yet you are looking for an apology from them for this and want everyone to email them to complain about the waste of money back in 1999. The earliest person to even serve on this council is 2003. Maybe you could find something more current to complain about. I think this article is a bit of a stretch.

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