There are ways to do this, and I shared a few with the good folks in the Florida Association of County Engineers and Road Superintendents at their Annual Meeting in Orlando. They call themselves “FACERS, ” by the way, which is a rare case of an acronym that you can easily pronounce!
First things first, though: during my remarks, the crowd and I disposed of several myths:
- “Local government has more money than it can spend.” We know that’s not true.
- “Taxpayers want to pay more taxes to support local government.” Oops, wrong again.
- “More people are leaving Florida than are coming in.” Nope–third time is not the charm.
- “Infrastructure lasts forever.” I wish this were true; then I wouldn’t have to blast through potholes in my pickup.
- “We can make do with what we have.” Sadly, most of the crowd said they have to make do with what they have. That’s part of the reason I had to dodge several tractors driving on State Road 31 on my way to speak at the FACERS Annual Meeting.
Doing away with those myths show us that local government has to do more with less. How do you do this?
- Seek grants.
- Plan way ahead.
- Give your project manager superpowers. (You had to be there, but this will really help.)
- Get your lawyer involved on Day 1.
- Try to work with the property owner early and often.
You can’t do all of these usually, but even using one or two of them could help to save money as a condemning authority. Let me know if I can help you. I may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 239-344-1326.