Saturday, November 20, 2010
Your Tax Dollars at Work
I live on an island with one main road that after two miles, forks and becomes two main roads. Until some ten miles later, when it ends. No public water, gas stations, grocery stores. Most of the traffic, too much for me, but relatively little compared to the rest of the world, is just us chickens. We travel the same lovely miles every day, back and forth.
So I was surprised, a couple of years ago, to suddenly see, in my ten mile commute, that someone had snuck in overnight and placed a number, i.e. more than one, of signs on the road that said:
First off I thought, what an eyesore. Certainly gets in the way of a very pretty drive. And then I wondered who on earth would be driving down this particular stretch of road and need to be told that this is a "Local Byway". NOT ONLY THAT, but it appears to be a "Local Byway" after the road branches, because if you are traveling back to the mainland (in this case another island) there is another sign that says "Scenic Byway". As opposed to "Local Byway". Which I'm sure doesn't mean that my route isn't scenic; I think it's probably more scenic than the two miles before it divides.
Anyway, this led me to believe that a bit of thought had gone into this, which surprised me, because, to be honest, I can't imagine who would have nothing better to do than plan to put up "Byway" signs, scenic or otherwise, on a fairly deserted, rural stretch of road that in fact is a byway to nowhere.
I was disgruntled, but there are so many other things to complain about that I'm ashamed to say I just let the stupid signs blend into the beautiful scenery along with the all the other annoying signs, necessary and un-.
Until three days ago when some sinister road crew snuck in and put up HUGE traffic signs, pretty much anywhere on the road when a person needed to do something other than keep going. Not only were these huge, horrifically ugly signs up everywhere, but also, a few feet before you got to the point where you needed to do something, there were HUGE SIGNS warning you that the signs telling you to DO SOMETHING were coming up. AND THEY WERE ON BOTH SIDES OF THE STREET.
I took it quite personally. Not just because they were an eyesore. Not because they are totally unnecessary. Although those are both totally large factors in my anger.
Could we have spent that money elsewhere? How about the one percent additional sales tax that we struggling Charlestonians have agreed to pay in order to fix schools that our government claims not to have money to repair? Or how about the furloughed teachers who get paid so much less anyway than educators in neighboring states? Our struggling libraries? Our parks? Our police and fire fighters?
WHAT ARE THEY THINKING OF???
And this, my friends, is why people hate the government.