Vail Daily letter: Typical government
Avon, CO Colorado
Baxter Pharr complains about the Eagle-Vail Property Owners Association and metro boards raising taxes and fees several times and in several ways highlights one of the biggest issues we all face today in the debate between private free enterprise and public-sec-tor endeavors. In the govern-mental model ( whether it is Obama Care or other socialized functions), citizens’ money is taken first and you are asked to trust that you will receive a decent product or service and a fair value down the road. Typi-cally, if the government fails to deliver, it just takes more mon-ey. There is very little account-ability and incentive to improve. As an example, when public school performance lags, the demands for more funding increase. Better, more effective and more efficient instruction doesn’t come first.
In the private sector, con-sumers get to see the final product and know the final price before they part with their hard- earned dollars. If the pri-vate sector fails to deliver and doesn’t continue to improve both costs and quality, con-sumers can turn to someone who is performing better.
Again, in the governmental model, the incentive is not to improve performance and products and then be rewarded financially. The incentive is just to get more money and more power. The Eagle-Vail Metro District has collected a massive property tax increase, which was promised as all that was necessary to build a new pool but, a couple of years later, no pool and more proposed tax and fee increases.
We have been Eagle-Vail homeowners for 25 years and, in the past couple, devoted a lot of time and energy to improv-ing the community. We wanted to improve the quality and cost effectiveness of the community services, but most board mem-bers, even though well inten-tioned, focused their energy on getting more residents’ money and not on giving them a better product first and earning greater financial support.
Instead of improving the lev-el of service on the golf course and attracting more customers, the Metro District and Property Owners Association want to spend millions of resident dol-lars to improve the course for, primarily, nonresident golfers, asserting that, somehow, this will be a good investment for residents. And if it doesn’t work out right, the residents have the option of … ? They will be com-mitted to paying off the bonds for 20-plus years whether they are benefiting or not.
That is just the way government and even quasi- government works. Instead of dealing with competition and accountability and consumer choice, the officials reach for power by telling people that they will take some of your property but you will be better off because they will take more of someone else’s. The same factors work on the local level as they do on the national level. The government does not have to earn your business every day, consumers don’t have a choice, and the results are just what you would expect, low quality but expensive. As Pharr stated, ” Let the people who actually use the pool pay for the pool.”