What do you expect?
Before Barack Obama was even elected, local government associations had built a long list of issues they want the next president to address. Those issues include funding for a new Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, prioritizing federal-state-local partnerships and more federal infrastructure spending.
American City & County asked the readers of its weekly e-mail newsletter what Obama’s election would mean for the achievement of those goals and other local government concerns. Below are some of the responses.
“Now is not the time for increased federal spending. Our national debt is so high it will literally take several generations to pay it down. Every dollar this country goes in debt, it gets weaker. Again, I say this is not the time for increased federal spending. If we can’t afford it, so be it.”
— John Reeves, desktop systems administrator, University of West Florida, Pensacola, Fla.
“I believe that it will be critical for President Obama to examine all of the federal funding programs that exist and determine, as he pledged to do during his campaign, which are successful and which programs are not. Project delivery methods must be examined [with] fewer strings [attached to federal money] and more agility in addressing needs in the nation.”
— Eric Keck, city administrator, Post Falls, Idaho
“The new administration, along with a politically aligned Congress, may actually be able to dedicate resources to rapidly decaying infrastructure and rightsizing social and entitlement programs. [Extricating the United States] from the religious quagmire that is Iraq and [redeploying dollars] to more domestic programs and [reducing the] federal deficit reduction [with] less private sector bailouts [would] provide real savings. As is the case here in [New York], out of crisis comes [an] opportunity to deal with real reform, focus on essential functions and deep [seated] problems, and [to] restore our political capital in the realm of international affairs. Jan. 20, 2009, can’t get here soon enough.”
— Jay Gsell, county manager, Genesee County, N.Y.