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Breaking Bad

by Mark D. Crantz

Do my eyes deceive me? I think I read the Indy article “City Breaks Ground, Alters Course for Digester Building.” I looked again. Yep, there was a picture of the City Council with shovels in hand, breaking ground for our Village Entrance. I couldn’t quite believe it after 40 years of talking about it. I took a magnifying glass for a closer look.  Oops. I noticed that our City Council had found and unearthed Laguna’s second roundabout.

Work was stopped immediately. “I didn’t expect that,” remarked Council Person #1. “Let’s do a do over,” suggested Council Person #2. Council Person #3 cried, “No, I can’t do another 40 years talking about it.” “I’m not suggesting going back to the beginning.   Let’s just put the dirt back and dig over there to get things started,” suggested Council Person #2. Council Person #3 huffed, “I’ll have nothing to do with a cover-up.”

The others leaned on their shovels and gave it a moment’s thought. Their wheels turned with visions of more consultants, more meetings, more environmental reviews and more historic studies, when a solution hit. Council Person #2 said, “We’re in closed session and off the record. We must stick together on this.” They hurriedly threw dirt and buried objecting Council Person #3. “Before we dig over there, let’s bow our heads. Council Person #3 was a good public servant. He’ll be missed. And here’s how we’ll spin it for public consumption… ‘Tragically, Council Person #3 tripped and hit himself on the head with his shovel. It’s a sad day for sure, but he was doing what he loved most—spending other people’s money. Life in Laguna will go on. The public shouldn’t panic. Other Council candidates will be there to spend your money in November.’”

Work recommenced. Hard hats were straightened. Megawatt smiles reappeared for photo ops. And then shovels clanked something hard. Council Persons scraped away dirt to find parking space #110. Oops. To everyone’s surprise, the council had unearthed an underground parking garage with the same number of above spaces they had grandfathered away for the new entrance project.  Without missing a beat, the council moved to dig a little further away. Another clank. Scrape. Scrape. And what to their wondering eyes did appear…but a sign reading “Welcome to Laguna” on top of a village entrance.

“Now what do we do?” moaned Council Person #1. “We already have a roundabout, an underground parking structure and a village entrance. What do we do with the $11.1 million dollars for a project that’s already here?”

Council Person #2 said, “I know. Shhh…we’re in closed session, again. We’ll shift the money to the general fund and increase pensions. All in favor?”

 

Crantz tells the Indy that the completion date has not changed from June 2020 and overruns are still expected, even though everything is already there.

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