Images communicate in ways words alone cannot. San Angelo's Assistant City Manager Rick Weise recommended City Council approve multiple ways to significantly subsidize venture capitalists for downtown development. Council complied.
I remind citizens that Council approved hiring a downtown master developer in 2012 with no funding source. It did so after eliminating the city's Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinic and asking the feds to pick up the tab.
Section 1115 Waiver funds require applicants offer new services to their community. It's a stretch to cut a critical public health service with the clear intent to have the state and feds pick up the tab, including a new building.Rick Weise reminded Council of the shakedown. Since then sexually transmitted diseases soared 300%. Promised federal money is yet to come through, but state funds allowed the STD clinic to reopen three days a week. If it does there will be another new, publicly subsidized building downtown.
There are two epidemics in our country today. One is the rapid rise in sexually transmitted diseases as technology facilitates hook ups. The other is the proliferation of public tax money to ensure private sector profits. San Angelo's downtown development is the intersection of both.