Can't Really Be Bothered to Fund the Schools; Here's a Grazing Reindeer Display
Look, I like the holiday season-- don't get me wrong. Christmas is great, as is Kwanzaa and Hanukkah and Festivus and all that. And I agree that if Florida had a surplus of money, it would be really neat to have large holiday displays in all of our towns to commemorate this Most Wonderful Time of the Year. But the thing is, we can't even fund our schools right now. Communities are talking about eliminating programs to provide public transportation for senior citizens. City workers are being laid off. We don't have the money, so there's no excuse for the city of Boynton Beach-- my town!-- to be wasting almost a quarter of a million dollars on holiday celebrations this year.
From today's Sun-Sentinel:
"This summer, Boynton Beach awarded a Palm Beach Gardens company a $72,030 contract to decorate city streets, fire stations, parks, City Hall and other city facilities with garlands, wreaths, lights, 'holiday' trees, grazing reindeer, Kwanzaa and Menorah displays, a Santa village and other trimmings.
"State-mandated property tax changes have prompted $3.8 million slashed off next fiscal year's budget. The city will likely cut three employee positions — the city's recreation manager, tennis professional and an engineering plans analyst and inspector — to save $223,934 in salaries and benefits...
"Taxpayers are also paying $150,000 for the Holiday Extravaganza parade, tree lighting and concert in December.
"No matter how tight it gets, the city can't spare the holidays, said Commissioner Mack McCray. A 50-foot tree alone is the biggest expense at $35,000."
I mean, is it just me? The city is laying people off to save $224,000, but we're spending that much on what amounts to a big, month-long party? And what's more... I mean, it's Boynton Beach. It's pretty much just shopping centers and apartment complexes; we don't really have the same sense of community here as they do in, say, Ft. Lauderdale. And also-- we're in Florida. Most of the people who are here in December are here because they wanted to escape the Winter Wonderland that their regular homes become in December. If they want to experience an old-fashioned, chestnuts-roasting kinda Christmas, can't they go back to New York or Wisconsin or wherever it is they've come from?
Look, I understand anyone who argues that the city doesn't need a tennis professional. But I maintain that we need one a whole hell of a lot more than we need some temporary reindeer display that most people aren't really going to notice anyway.
Bah humbug, motherfuckers.