As Mr. Hartnett said, "if you want any of this you need to cut out about half of it."
The city has played their cards, and counts on two things happening:
the voters in the pork-receiving areas will vote yes out of parochial self-interest
other voters will vote yes in order to get the needed insfrastructure maintenance
I think a standoff is in order. City Council wants to soak the taxpayers for pretty civic trinkets? Fine, we can reject it. Mr. Mayor, come back to the residents when you have something reasonable, responsible, and respectful of the citizens you serve. You can only shear a sheep so close, and even then you must be mindful of the weather.
PS: If anyone needs a reminder of how shallow the Shiny Pretty City booster crap is, find a few open evenings to re-read Babbitt. Although it was written in the 1920s you will absolutely recognize the same types in our own little burg. The novel is razor sharp.
Followup. I have received this info that appears to confirm a 4-proposal bond election:
Prop 1 - Streets and Drainage-$24,710,000
Prop 2 - Parks -$22,645,000
Prop 3 - Public Buildings - $10,495,000
Prop 4 - Neighborhood Vitality - $8,150,000
If this is in fact the case then I will ratchet back my opposition. It's not exactly a line-item-veto level of control but is much better than a monolithic proposal. It also means I need to back off my "hostage" verbiage.
Slagel: "There is the issue of being able to do the things we need to do and there's not a way without a significant tax base growth and sales tax growth to be able to do the things we want to do without a tax increase... It really poses a significant issue for us."
Mr. Mayor, the significant issue here is the conflation of the concepts "need" and "want". There is a subset of voters are that NOT interested in porky, politically-expedient debt-spending when the economic shizznit has hit our collective and individual fans.
Seriously, sir. Have the courage to lead the city council with fiscal conservatism and responsibility in this difficult time. This is not a game, and we ain't playin'.