More than three-quarters of a million dollars! That’s what the SLO City Council, in all its wisdom, approved to prettify two blocks of Higuera Street, down from three (“SLO City Council spends big on two blocks of downtown,” Nov. 17). New lighting, trash bins, tree grates, and Mission-style pavers for the sidewalks. Oh yes, and to remove several of the beautiful trees along the street. Do what?!?
“Staff” said the considerable extra costs over the original “staff” estimate could be taken from other improvement projects around the city. “Staff” didn’t come up with which of these projects could be dumped. And as an aside, “staff” said why not pony up another $25,000 to hire a project “liaison”—presumably to soothe the anger of the businesses who would have access to their stores torn up for who knows how long.
All this would be nice, yes. But necessary in this time of cutbacks in wages and benefits of city employees? Hardly. Lots of things are nice, but our pie-in-the-sky officials, including “staff,” should get real and realize that things are tough now, and will likely remain so for quite awhile.
Three-quarters of a million dollars! How nice!