TRUCKEE, Calif. — Raise your hand if you do not sleep under the stars at night. Although a winking array of infinite canopy has its appeal, the overwhelming majority of the clinically sane choose shelter to meet their housing needs.Going into the “numbers” of home-ownership in 2012, we recognize that owning property depends on ones perspective: American privilege or capital-sucking liability? As we scoot ourselves forward in daily life, a quick “check-up” reveals yes, indeed we are leaner, but not stronger.Businesses and merchants that have come through the financial fire-storms of 2008, 2009 and 2010 by way of prudence and will are experiencing little more than an ooze of recovery. Who among us hasn’t robbed Peter to pay Paul (where bill-paying is concerned, of course)? Re-structured debt, the credit-card shuffle and bankruptcy are all simply mainstream tools now. Meanwhile rentals and fees (across the board) have spiked in only one direction, and the only things that are drifting downward are confidence in our representation and the economic headwinds needed to stimulate real growth. It is clear when we look into the rear-view mirror, we are speeding-away pedal to metal from the delirium, otherwise known as the mid-2000s.The bundle save, but spend, spend, spend mentality is so last decade, darling, haven’t you heard? To hold funding hostage in order to use it as a sourdough starter for projects that could not come at a worse economic time, borders on a complete disregard for the folks that are asked to pay for these bonds in general. Low-interest rates and investment are fantastic incentives when the money is accessible.All we have to do is look around and listen to a few “stories” to know that there is a mountain of pain out there. I’m talking about people that have made serious sacrifices over the past four years and are still just holding on by their fingernails. We are all witness to this reversal of fortune and understand that resistance is futile. Unrelenting inflation and a devalued dollar via monetization are just part of this new norm Agencies, intuitions and municipalities have little choice but to focus on the nutrient-rich revenue the property-owner generates.Here’s a classic from the “pro” bond players greatest hits, “if they’re rich enough to own a second home, (you know the tune)”. Oh yes ... sticking it to the sitting-duck out of towners. But at the same time aren’t we stickin’ it to ourselves?Through good fiscal management, the Truckee-Donner Recreation andamp; Park District is sitting on a $7 million surplus. This money can easily be used to build a community pool facility right now. Your “no” vote on Measure J this November will encourage this allocation of surplus funds be spent properly, shrewdly and creatively ... you know, that “new-norm” thing!Suzanne Carlen is a Truckee resident.
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