DATE: 3/09/2005 12:58:00 PM
My Tax Dollars at Work - It's not often that one can spend a great deal of money in taxes and see poor government service on the same day, but today was one of those days. I paid my over-$250 excise tax this morning when I registered the new car and drove to work on roads that had yet to see much effort from the public works department. I'm pretty forgiving in the morning, though - Bangor has a lot of roads.
Just got back from getting lunch, though, and the roads are pretty much as they were this morning, including Union and Hammond Streets - two main arteries of the city. It's been much the same this whole winter - the worst winter for snow removal I can remember since I moved to the state. We have had a lot of storms, but we're also paying quite a bit every year in taxes for vehicles we already own. The non-plowed roads lead to more accidents, which means more costs in terms of police sent to the many fender-benders in the city after a storm. Count in the money lost by retailers when customers don't feel like going out on unplowed roads and you've got quite a tidy sum of cash going - all because the roads weren't thoroughly cleaned of snow.
Snow removal is one of the basic responsibilities of the city after a storm, and this year it hasn't been done that well. Perhaps it's time to contract out the service to private firms and see if service improves when market-based competition is introduced.