And it's an impressive community-directed thing. An unused city-owned longtime eyesore (too bad government never cries "blight!" and somehow relieves itself of its "own" property, handing it off to private interests, eh?) begins the process -- more a ground-covering than a ground-breaking -- of being transformed into a functional center of Manchester, NH, neighborhood activity -- a dog park, the city's first -- all through voluntary funds and effort, on this otherwise dreary (snow spitting between the rain and sleet -- no traditional New England Easter blizzard, thankfully, but the ground was white when I got home) Saturday, 4/23/2011. (Pushing the envelope of electronic prudence rather too hard resulted in some, um, technical difficulties, and thus this substantially delayed posting -- oh, the sacrifices we make for activism, eh? -- up-side: hey, I'm gettin' a new camera...)
Now if we could only convince the city to divest itself of property it has no business "owning" in the first place ("the city" is a fictional entity, of course: it owns nothing, it produces nothing -- you own it, whether you like it or not. But then they'll threaten you with trespassing! On your property! Does that seem right to you...?). And how did this government-controlled property even arguably benefit the taxpayers before people finally managed to overcome government opposition to these improvements?
Sell off publicly-owned real property, thus immediately generating cash the government claims it needs, and return it to the tax rolls, thus increasing the property tax base (and concomitantly decreasing the rate -- if you keep an eye on 'em, that is), and letting the (invested) market -- not uninvested bureaucrats, with no personal skin in the game, just other people's money -- decide its most sustainably productive use. In the mean time, do the best you can to minimize the harm government intentionally and methodically does to civilization.
So kudos to tenacious Manchester (now) state Representatives Tammy Simmons and Phil Greazzo for finally bringing their vision to fruition. For providing an example of what people can accomplish voluntarily to improve their own lives despite their government's best efforts to thwart them. May your dogs always be content. See some earlier debate on libertarian perspectives on this project here.