We value fiscal responsibility through measured investments that generate expected returns and sustainable outcomes.
Our city operates on finite resources. As citizens we spend a lot of time and energy thinking about what government costs. Forward Lafayette believes that we should instead think about what type of return are we getting from those finite resources.
Decisions we make as a community has fiscal impact as well. While government isn’t a business, we should help our elected officials and governmental entities to consider the public’s return on investment when making decisions on how land is developed. Sprawl-based development patterns may work in the short-term, but in the long-term they stress our local coffers by incurring the liabilities associated with maintaining infrastructure with no corresponding revenue source.
Consider the development patterns established after World War II. If building subdivisions further and further away from the city core was a fiscally responsible sustainable model, then why have the demands for public funding for the associated infrastructure increased so dramatically? Growth does not necessarily pay for itself. Cities across the country, including Lafayette, have discovered that public funds are increasingly insufficient.
Let’s not continue to throw money at a broken system. We support development rules that smarter growth patterns that produce enough revenue per acre to build and sustain the associated public infrastructure.
Well-directed public spending that supports prosperity and long-term fiscal solvency does not have to be large scale and highly speculative. Smaller, incremental investments at the neighborhood level can be low-risk testing ground for new ideas. This will require changing attitudes and expectations. Lafayette has the opportunity to be a leader in the national conversation on this topic. Let’s have a public discussion informed by good data. Let’s test our ideas. Let’s do the math.