The city of New Rochelle, New York owns an empty building. It has been empty for years.
Why does it own an empty building? Why doesn’t it sell it? No one seems to know. No one asks.
It used to be owned by the U.S. Army, but the Army wisely abandoned it.
A veterans group decided to hoist the famous Gadsden flag: a coiled snake and “Don’t Tread on Me.”
Now the city council has removed the flag. Why? Because it is supposedly a Tea Party symbol. The Tea Party wants tax cuts. It wants wasteful government cut back.
This would mean wasteful empty buildings.
The symbolism was too much for the city council. It wants no such symbol flying over an empty government building. People might get the wrong idea, namely, that there is no reason why the city should own an empty building.
The veterans group has sued the city. This will tie up city resources to fight a court case.
Wouldn’t it be cheaper for the city to give the building to the veterans group? Or sell it for a dollar? But that would be a symbolic retreat from useless government. It would send a dangerous message to voters. The city prefers to spend money to fight a court case. It wants to send this message to voters: “Don’t tread on the city council.”
From now on, when anyone sees a coiled snake in New Rochelle, he should think “city council.”