The mayor’s proposal of enacting the new ‘Stretch Building Code’ pretty much sums up the political times we live in politically right now.
The Code is an offshoot of the new “Green Movement” – whatever that really is – that has enraptured the country since President Barack Obama took office. It, obviously, stems from the unrealistic environmental movement of the 1960s.
Just as with last weekend’s health care vote and other federal measures taken against the automotive industry and the financial sector, Revere Mayor Tom Ambrosino has seemingly begun to pit government revenues against the sustainability of private enterprise.
This has happened before in Revere, and in the recent past.
When the local Meal’s Tax came up last year – a measure that was wisely defeated – the mayor once again pitted city revenues/jobs against the weary and weak restaurant industry in Revere.
Now, the mayor is looking to increase the cost of construction and development so that the city can get federal and state money that they will use to improve the ‘energy efficiency’ of their buildings and to hire more government workers to enforce more regulations on an already crippled industry – that of development and construction.
Government as a whole is moving towards this way of thinking, and Mayor Ambrosino is fully in line with it. It must be called what it is and that is a de facto government takeover of the free market.
The government and the jobs it offers should never be more important than free market business. The government should never be in competition with private business.
Yet, with the mayor, we’ve seen him cross those lines before.
Lest we forget when the city got into the parking business down the Beach. Not only did the city undercut a legitimate businessman trying to improve his private property by holding an open-air market on weekends, but also they nearly put him out of business by charging a much lower price. That business owner, Al D’Amico, fought back with a lawsuit and was successful.
Profits are not evil; making money is not a crime. And, unlike private business, government doesn’t have to worry about turning a profit because they can just change the rules or increase taxes.
That being said, government should always step aside and make way or assist business.
The only role government should play is as a partner with business, enforcing common sense regulations that are helpful, not oppressive.
Government should also not be a job creator or and economic engine.
However, with so many politicians around here, the idea is that they can raise taxes, increase departmental budgets, and create jobs that are funded by our tax dollars.
That’s no way to grow the economy, but the mayor sees it differently.
That’s because Mayor Ambrosino has always had a little Barack Obama in him, and has never truly understood the plight of the small business owner or the private sector in general. He has always believed that government has the answers and that it’s more important to keep City Hall expanding than it is to keep stores open on Broadway.
It would be nice if the City Council, once again, reined him in as they did with the Meal’s Tax last year. Really, in these important decisions, the Council is the last vestige for protecting private enterprise.