Beware of Administrations Bearing Gifts

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Remember the pledge to put 1000 new police officers on the street?

That is not happening, but the administration has just put forward a plan to put 50 more officers on the street.

However, Chief Anthony Scott of Holyoke is balking at the state aid, saying “After the three or four years, the city and taxpayers need to find the money to keep those individuals employed…[i]t’s not fiscally responsible.”

The Chief points out the problem with state initiatives for local programs. Can you rely on continued funding? Its akin to someone ‘buying you a house’ by making the downpayment, then handing you a mortgage. State government pays for the initial cost of hiring the officers (and takes the credit), then muncipalities are at the mercy of the state to continue providing the money in future years.

Think I’m exaggerating the issue? Ask those communities that played by the rules of the much-heralded Smart Growth Housing Trust Fund which is now “$8 million short of what it will be required by law to pay to these communities“.