The entries today are all gripes with the first few items on the agenda for next Tuesday’s meeting of Asheville City Council. Just because I don’t regularly mention this kind of thing, does not mean it isn’t happening. I just get sick of listening to myself sound like a broken record. Were I an enlightened politician, I would breeze through my consent agenda, see that we were going to get six digits of free money from the federal deficit here and there, visualize a land of milk and honey with streets paved with gold, and say, “This is exciting!”

But I am not a politician. I’m one of those creeps who asks what all this economic development funding from the federal government has gotten us. I ask if receipt of federal funding will be worth having the country default on its debt, or making the dollar a joke in international markets, or whatever craziness my uninformed mind conjures.

The stimulus for this tirade is that the federal government, for the sake of economic recovery, is offering $565 million in the sixth round of TIGER funding. The City of Asheville wants only a piddly $10-15 million of your grandchildren’s hope of discretionary dollars for greenways and streetscapes to exponentiate the economy on the city’s west end. The balance can be funded with interest that won’t need a tax increase until you’ve forgotten about it. The practice of getting lots of big, outside dollars is referred to as, “financial sustainability.”