Government solutions

Nevada is in a budget crisis. In comparison to our own personal budget crises, the Nevada budget crisis is almost irrelevant—until that day we need to get on unemployment or find fake jobs as “public information specialists.” But in this Gibbonsonian world, it’s “Ask not what this government can do for you, but what you can do for this government.” Yes, we note the irony.

At this point, we’re just gathering up the pieces, looking for areas where, if the government tightens its belt, it’ll save us, the taxpayers, a tiny bit of money. Add those tiny bits up, and maybe our government will have enough savings for a metaphorical 40-ouncer to drown its economic sorrows. It’s the Big Brother equivalent of drying your clothes on the line to save the cost of running the clothes dryer.

OK, first, would somebody please turn off the lights? Why does every government building we pass have lights on at all times of night? Why are their exteriors lit at night (other than those lights to keep airplanes from flying into them)?

There are other electrically wasteful examples all over town. For example, why doesn’t the city of Reno do an audit on stop lights? There are many areas, particularly near the downtown core, where there are unnecessary traffic lights. They were needed back in the days before the interstates, when people actually drove the most direct route through town, but those days are gone. Put up a yield or a stop sign, for heaven’s sake. Want an example? How about that light on Center Street next to the Siena? Turn it off. We don’t need to tell anyone that unnecessarily stopping automobiles wastes fuel.

In the age of the internet, why are taxpayers still paying for those printed legal ads? Government has spent millions of dollars over the last few years printing legal ads in the classified sections of newspapers when a few competent tech people could handle the entire state, county and city postings. It’s stupid, anachronistic and irresponsible. Officials do it in order to curry favor with newspapers, afraid that if they do the responsible thing and move the ads to the internet, newspapers will get mad at them. Guess what, officials? Newspapers already don’t like you; do your job.

Here are a few other quick hits:

Why are there so rarely two or more people in government vehicles? Can’t those folks combine at least some trips? We have the technology for government carpooling.

Look, we don’t care about “Click it or ticket.” Unless there’s an Amber alert or the pass is closed, turn those “public service announcement” signs off. We want to conserve power and money.

Build government buildings and complexes up, not out. Take a look at the Washoe County complex. It could have all been put in one 14-story building.

Xeriscape government property: Why are we wasting money on non-native grasses in the freaking desert? Nobody wants to pay for lawnmower gas, water or fertilizers/pesticides. Take a look at the University of Nevada, Reno. How much of that grass is necessary?

C’mon, you bean counters. Count some beans, would ya? The cliche is that government should run like a business. Forget that, government should have to run like a single-parent household.