27 August 2008

Interesting comments from a Leisureville reader

As posted on amazon.com:

Blechman raises three issues that are of paramount importance, all of which make it worthwhile reading for anyone -- especially in the Northeast -- who is grappling with generational issues in local government; it should also be of interest to those who are concerned about the long-term physical and resource impact of age-restrictd communities.

First, if we do value our seniors, why aren't we doing more on a local level to encourage them to stay in integrated communities? The cost of public education, health and other benefits, and an aging infrastructure are clobbering the tax base, but we may need to find the extra money in strained municipal budget to better support programs that make life in the communities in which they've lived for decades easier and more rewarding for them. That said, seniors have hardly helped their cause -- it is tiresome to hear well-heeled retirees complain that they shouldn't shoulder some of the burden for the exact same municipal services that previous generations willingly provided them when they were raising children.

Second, what is going to happen to The Villages and Sun City as they decay? These are not particularly well-constructed or sustainable communities. If the people who live there do not invest in their future -- by repairing infrastructure and building a strong team of municipal employees -- the housing stock and streets will eventually decline. These seniors are fleeing that very problem, but it will follow them if they live long enough. Local communities may yet wind up paying for these developments.

Third, Florida and especially Arizona are already in serious trouble with water usage. These seniors may not be around when water shortages become a fact of daily life, but their children will be.

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