The road to nowhere
August 15, 2018
We get the feeling people wouldn't be quite so all fired up about roads if their neighbors were being murdered in their sleep.
That might be an exaggeration at some level, but roads are just one of the things the county spends taxpayers' money on.
People ask where their tax dollars go, and the basic answer is to help prevent wheels being stolen off cars, drug dealers and gangs taking over public spaces and preserving the rule of law.
Oh, yeah, and some goes to pave local roads.
There was a time in Douglas County when locals didn't want particularly good roads in their neighborhoods.
It discouraged people who didn't live in a place from wandering about, interfering with the neighbors' peace and quiet.
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Nowadays, the roads are a handy target for people to complain about, particularly when they are feeling neglected by the county.
But do we really want the county doing things anyway? It seems to us the best way to keep taxes low is to have the county stop paying money for things.
We're particular, but we like knowing we're relatively safe in our homes and that we can count on the fire department when something's ablaze.
Many conservatives have made employees' salaries a target. Reducing the number of employees probably isn't going to fix the roads any faster, though.
We can point to a letter written in 1904 decrying the state of Douglas County's roads despite its relative wealth.
We've no objection to residents paying to maintain their own local roads, people in the towns and districts do it now.
But those roads have been neglected for so long now, that no responsible government board would take charge of them in their current state.
Before any special district gets stuck with maintaining local roads, it should insist that the county repair them.
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