The recent decision on the “Footbridge to Nowhere” demonstrates how out of touch the City Council and city staff are with the taxpayers of Red Wing. The 5-1 vote moving this ridiculous project further over the cliff seems particularly arrogant in light of the fact that a city survey found that residents do not want this project. From the goofy concert venue concept to a foot bridge that would cost Red Wing taxpayers well over $1 million and be used almost as much as the proposed concert venue, this is just an extravagant example of how our city government does not pay attention to the citizens of the city. We have more pressing problems than a foot bridge.
I would have thought that the Keystone Cops collection of errors, setbacks, delays, cost overruns, and a bizarre outcome (two junk yards inside the city limits?) that the city demonstrated in the $5.5M Spring Creek Road/HIghway 61 intersection realignment fiasco would have, at least, given City Council some cause to re-evaluate Public Work’s ability to manage large projects, plan development, and spend taxpayer money rationally.
Ideally when management makes big mistakes in planning, the rational response is to step back, carefully and honestly evaluate the process that created those errors, involve everyone in the evaluation from the project participants to the customers, and take on smaller, more manageable projects until some expertise and experience are evident.
The city is too quick to pat itself on the back without making any effort to see how its performance is assessed by the citizens involved and inconvenienced by past projects. Unfortunately, our city and county bureaucrats are operating under a “we need to spend money while we have it” attitude, not noticing that the money they “have” is now coming from drastically increasing property taxes which will have a negative impact on city sustainability; both commercially and residentially.