Those of you who think city government is a useless waste of time should know that the city’s budget cuts may have played a role in the deaths of two Dallas residents last week.

The city has savaged the traffic light repair budget to help make up for three years of budget mismanagement (which, oddly, hardly anyone but me has written about until now). The result? Rafael Valdovinos and Yolanda Guzman were killed when a driver blew through a broken stop light near Ferguson and Centerville.

There was a nice bit of reporting in Dallas’ Only Daily Newspaper (behind the paywall) describing how the budget cuts have reduced the number of employees available to fix broken stop lights. It even went so far to say that the accident was “at least partially caused by an inoperative traffic light.” Which, given the way reporters are taught to write stories, speaks volumes about the city’s culpability.

Hopefully, this will get through to the bureaucrats and council members downtown who continue to treat the budget crisis as something that will go away if they close their eyes long enough.

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