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Speed bumps and budgets

Oct 27

The issue regarding fixing the crosswalk at the north side of Jackson and State streets:

A few people, think leaving the indented recess at the cross walk of Jackson and State Streets is nothing more than a mere “natural speed bump” and believe is should be left as so. WHAT?

Tedman is referring to comments about Jackson and State streets here, which I repeated in the meeting, related to the safety of traffic around State Street, and that slowing down traffic near state street is a good thing. That was my sentiment, at least, and some disagree with that sentiment.

The issue was, of course, nothing to do with creating “speed bumps”, however it is about fiscal responsibility, and timing:

Should Borough CouncilĀ  stick to their budgets?

Borough Council has about $13,000 left in the crosswalk budget.

The repair for this crosswalk is estimated at $44,000 dollars (could be less, however), meaning Borough Council would spend outside of that budget to the tune of $31,000.

Have $31 grand to spare?

Now, where should we take that money from? The police department overtime budget? How about paving your street?

The irony is that the two Republicans on council showed favor in spending this money at the working meeting in October outside the budget. Jim Cunningham claimed we had “plenty of money” from the taxes.

Pete Alyanakian suggested that they could use the bridge design fees reimbursement to pay for the road repairs … (But wait, that was for the bridge design costs, right?)

I thought given the current national rhetoric about fiscal responsibility they would be the last ones who would want to spend money outside the budget.

But in the working meeting, Peter Williamson simply requested to wait until next year (which is now about 9 weeks away) and putting this repair in next year’s budget.


So, the world is turned upside down: Peter Williamson, a Democrat, is for fiscal responsibility, while Republicans Jim Cunningham and Pete Alyanakian are for spending money outside of the budgets?

The vote, by the way, passed unanimously for the repairs as long as it would happen before November 19th, 2010. It should take about a week and the compromise on the motion was that the money will come out of the paving budget, and not anywhere else. Monica Simpson:

Would the maker of the motion be willing to amend the motion so that money comes from the street department’s budget and not anywhere else? Because there was a reference made to this being “found” money … to do this project and really there is no found money … it was fairly recuperating what was lost to us …

So, the issue was about being responsible about budgets and spending, and not about “speed bumps.”

The crux of it is: If your street needs to be paved, it may be postponed. Jim Cunningham:

We have the option of being able to postpone some streets if need be …

Hopefully that clears up the issue for you. Hope your street is not the one that is postponed!


  1. david blake /

    Interesting but uneducated and a very politically motivated blog; and it could be so much better absent smug politics. But it is your blog.
    Uneducated because you obviously are unaware that few municipalities can stay completely within budget so things get postponed when emergency or dangerous situations arise which require more immediate attention. Repaving of some streets can easily be postponed until 2011 if there is a danger presented by the dip at Jackson and State. Safety of the traveling public, especially at a busy intersection is paramount to any side street resurfacing. The Council should be commended, not attacked, for recognizing a danger and acting upon it before anyone got hurt or property damaged. You have attempted to make a proverbial mountain out of a situation that is very commonplace and one confronted by elected officials regardless of their political persuasion and dealt with in similar fashion to the Media Borough Council.

  2. Median /

    David, thanks for your thoughtful reply, it’s the kind of commentary that is appreciated.

    I agree that my analysis somewhat politicizes the nature of the issue, but in fairness the vote was unanimous, so the politics are really about how money should be spent.

    I was trying, and obviously failed, to point out the disparity between fiscal responsibility locally and nationally, especially given the rhetoric prominent in media about the election next week.

    And, I agree, this is a mountain (or rather, 2 blog posts) out of a molehill (a few minutes of debate in the two meetings in October.)

    As well I agree that going outside of budgets in emergency situations is also important. Whether this is an “emergency” is really up for debate, and Jim Cunningham believes it was absolutely urgent, and Peter Wiliamson believes it could have waited until next year. In fairness, the Fire department had not given their feedback until later in the month.

    As well, apparently the concern was where the money was going to come from, which when resolved, resulted in unanimous agreement on the issue.

    Finally, let me just say that politics is rarely absent from any commentary on issues, local or national.

    In general, I will label my opinion explicitly, and when I write news, I will quote individuals to get their side of the story. Individuals usually can speak better for themselves than I can.

    Again, thanks for the comments, I appreciate your thoughts.