As reported by Ian Donnis on RINPR, the City Council is meeting tonight to put a provision in the proposed roads bond bill that would give them control over what streets and sidewalks get repaired in their Wards:
RINPR quotes Councilman Terry Hassett:
That was one of the concerns among the council members — making sure that anything that is distributed through a bond for infrastructure that the council member has a direct and specific role in terms of what streets would get done, what sidewalks, and where the emphasis should be. That was the concern.
Dan McGowan of GoLocalProv Tweets the move could result in a Mayoral veto:
If Council does pass the amended $40 million bond 2night I expect Mayor Taveras 2 veto. Dissidents think they have 10 votes, but I doubt it.
— Dan McGowan (@danmcgowan) July 23, 2012
Why? Because there has already been a systematic review of roadways in the city that need attention and 62 miles of roadways have been identified as the ones which will be worked on should this bond pass (I hope to see that list before I’m asked to vote on the bond). The Council argues that they know best what their Wards need. What they know best is which streets getting paved get them the most votes towards reelection.
There’s also the simple matter that the bond money should not be equally dispersed among the 15 Councilors. There are Wards that are in more need than others based on trucking, bus routes, sheer road miles, and other factors that mean they should get more or less money than other Wards.
The City has created a formula to rate roads and determine which need working on, there is no reason the Councilors need any more say over that. If they don’t agree with the formula, then address that, don’t say you get to pick and choose what needs doing under some, “trust me, I know what’s best for my Ward,” song and dance.