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Ultimate Equity

BY LEN CABRERA / JULY 5, 2019

The Gainesville City Commission is out of control, making a mockery of local government and racing to implement policies that failed 10 or 20 years ago in leftist utopias like San Francisco, Portland, and Tacoma. Their latest quest for increased power (and wasting taxpayer dollars) is a push for publicly-funded internet access, despite hundreds of failed cases dating back to the mid-1990s. In 1997, for example, Tacoma, WA, incurred $100 million in debt to have Tacoma Power install a cable television and internet service called Click. In 2015 and 2016, costs exceeded revenues by almost $9 million, and the city is now involved in a lawsuit because it has subsidized Click with $6 million to $10 million a year in utility revenue. 

Before turning to this next debacle, Gainesville was (and still is) wasting taxpayer money on their big equity push. It’s hard to keep up with and comment on all the idiocy, since we don’t have city staff to boss around or taxpayer money to throw at consultants to do our work for us. Conveniently, the delay in this column coincides with a local story on the crime rate increasing by 7.9% in Alachua County, despite a 9% drop in crime statewide. Who’d have guessed that would’ve happened when the city and county commissions both pushed law enforcement to not arrest people?

But back to the city’s promise to erase inequity for “just” $470k per year… During the June 6th city commission meeting, the commissioners were discussing their new Racial Equity Subcommittee. (You’d think that commissioners complaining about a part-time job taking too much time would stop creating work for themselves.) When asked to be on the subcommittee, Harvey Ward couldn’t help but virtue signal: 

“I’m interested in serving as well. Now, it’s not lost on me the idea… I don’t want to overwhelm the committee with people who look like me, but I think there’s value… <Mayor Poe speaks over him>”  (3:17:41 into this video).

Maybe Harvey Ward should lead by example and show us how seriously he takes this equity stuff. He should step down from his city commission seat, pick a marginalized person of color with the requisite group-identity characteristics of the week, and endorse that person to take his seat and his $32,000 salary.

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