Absolutely brilliant report by USAToday. This is but a teeny glimpse into the future troubles facing cities across America. The public will soon be side-swiped by how terrible cities have been managed. It’s our next financial tsunami, and budget cuts to things like school systems and closing parks are not going to fix much.
Unfunded pensions (click!), deferred maintenance, inefficient management, poorly designed union contracts, lowered tax rates, aging infrastructure, deficient electric grid, water shortages (and leaks), will all be exacerbated by increasingly intense storms. The perfect storm is brewing. Sorry to be so bleak, but your politicians really are lying to you about a looming crisis. When cities advertise that you should shop or move there, or when they advertize new downtown revitalization, they’re really trying to get more money (taxes) to help pay for all the above issues. Climate change is going to put a lot of pressure on cities to perform basic functions unless leaders start being more forthright with these issues.
USA Today’s brilliant interactive map might wake-up the public enough to start at least asking questions about how their city is dealing with budget shortfalls. This map shows various rate increases (aka, poor city planning and management) in dozens of cities across the US. Solid piece on a complex set of issues facing America.
While most Americans worry about gas and heating oil prices, water rates have surged in the past dozen years, according to our analysis of 100 municipalities. Prices at least doubled in more than a quarter of the locations and even tripled in a few.
The top graphic here shows the highest increases in water rates across the country, while the bottom graphic compares water cost increases against other utilities.
Find our how your city stacks up: http://usat.ly/V5XWUN