Worst Use of Taxpayer Dollars
1st Place: Pointless city referendum against growth
2nd Place: ROUND A BOUTS! HATE ‘EM!
3rd Place: Confluence Project
If we had a nickel for every time someone around here complained about something being a waste of taxpayer dollars, we’d have an awful lot of nickels. Of course, we’d be taxed on those pennies, and some of that tax money might just pay for stuff that we disagree with, thus perpetuating the cycle of bellyaching. This year’s list of taxpayers’ pet peeves is unusual, because items one and three are two sides of the same taxable coin. The winner – “Pointless city referendum against growth” – is a jab at the residents who forced the April 1 city of Eau Claire referendum, which asked voters whether or not they should have to give approval (via yet another referendum) if the city were to spend $1 million or more on a performing arts project. The referendum was aimed at thwarting the proposed Confluence Project (which would be aided by some city tax increment financing), and it went down in flames. Third place went to the Confluence Project itself (and we suspect many of those who voted for this option in our poll were the same people who voted for the referendum). Sandwiched in between is a declaration of anger aimed at circular traffic features, stated thusly: “ROUND A BOUTS! HATE ‘EM!” OK, we get it, BUT YOU DON’T HAVE TO SHOUT, PEOPLE. –Tom Giffey