Comments:

Ypsidixit - 2007-11-16 09:55:39
Things will get really interesting in week 3 ("year" 2) of the game, if you examine the solvency plan. Even in the first week, it's interesting to speculate how the loss of the city worker mentioned will create a logjam or backlog at City Hall, and what the effects of that might be.
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Ypsidixit - 2007-11-16 10:20:38
I would make one tiny change to the solvency plan before starting the game. Since most of the Year 1 cuts are cost savings and cost avoidances, I'd move up one item from Year 2 to Year 1: Code Enforcement. So at the beginning of the game, this is what we would be dealing with:

Building Department Elimination of Code Enforcement would discontinue the following services:
Enforcement and abatement for graffiti, illegal dumping/littering, illegal signage, overgrown grass, weeds and brush, abandoned vehicles, and sidewalk snow removal
Enforcement of the vacant/dangerous building ordinance, tickets for zoning, HDC and business license violations
Removal of debris for fire investigation or collapsing portions of damaged buildings
Removal of dead animals from streets and default animal control functions to the County
Special event cleanups and documentation
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Old Goat - 2007-11-16 15:15:17
May 2010 "Mr. Webster, the retired taxidermist, has agreed to take all dead animals to his basement 'shop' for evaluation to be either displayed or disposed of as required. Boy Scout Troop 291 has agreed to 'fetch' the unfortunate critters and will receive instruction in the art by Mr. Webster. Anyone spotting one of the critters within Ypsilanti City limits need only to contact the Boy Scouts at: 734-555-1212 or email at BSATroop291@edu.org." Well, that takes care of the dead critters scenario. The budding new enterprise was soon swamped with orders from as far away as Kuwait for squirrels, possums and, er, cats. An entire new world industry has sprung up employing hundreds. The critters have become so coveted, that proof must now accompany the report to ensure that they actually 'died' within the city limits and not placed by an opportunist.-Og
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Report from Dubai, 8/7/2010 - 2007-11-16 16:35:39

"TAKE A LOOK AROUND," commanded Sheik Al-Indafamli, grandly sweeping a white-robed arm over the equally white slopes of Abu Dhabi's enormous indoor ski slope. A group of international reporters around him gazed over the snowy valley, far under an immense Plexiglas dome. A ski lift passed near us, and two tiny skiiers far down the slope schussed back and forth, nearing the bottom. "The best indoor skiing in the world. And the most realistic."

"Yes," agreed the BBC reporter, "look, you even have wildlife!" He pointed to a squirrel perched erectly on a branch. The animal seemed frozen by fear. I glimpsed a raccoon peeking from around the tree's trunk, similarly paralyzed. Even more strangely, a normally rambunctious blue jay stood inert on a pine branch. Its beady black eye glared at mine.

"Ah, yes," said the Sheik fondly. "Our 'recreations," the finest animal reconstructions in the world. They are all handmade and are from a little town in...over in..." The Sheik turned towards the ski lift, where a tall, affable-looking man in a down jacket and skis rode upwards. He called out, "Eminent Mayor! Say again the name of your most respected town!"

The man grinned broadly. "Ypsilanti!" he called, rising up out of sight. "Ypsilanti," repeated the Sheik. "Abu Dhabi's sister city. Very good carp fishing."

Few now remember the dark days of the mid 2000s, when this post-industrial southeastern Michigan town teetered on the brink of bankruptcy. A shrinking budget yielded an unexpected benefit with the elimination of all code enforcement officers. Suddenly, the city's bounteous crop of what were colloquially known as "squishmunks" were free for the taking. Legions of Ypsilanti Boy Scouts eagerly spirited the prizes to a retired taxidermist, who took many under his wing (actually, many wings) and taught the spry young boys the ancient and delicate art of animal preservation.

He taught them well. Elegantly preserved animals were sought by the nearby Ruthven Natural History Museum and soon, throughout the country. When Kuwaiti Krispy Kreme mogul Mohamed Abdulmohsin Al Kharafi visited Ann Arbor on business, and stopped by the Ruthven during his day off, the specimens so impressed him he ordered hundreds for his private zoological museum. From there, the creatures' fame spread throughout the Middle East. The Ypsilanti taxidermy company, now called Crepe de Chemin, doubled in size and soon offered an IPO. Ypsilanti's glittering Mayoral Palace bore seventy golden towers, visible from all over town.

And that was only the beginning of the town's good fortune...
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the right to arm bears shall not be infringed upon - 2007-11-16 17:04:38
(2009) The Ypsilanti militia, organized under the auspices of COPAC and the 2nd Amendment, has proved a blessing to a city seemingly bereft of code enforcement officials. Instead, citizens who are now required by ordinance to hold a valid CCW permit and carry 'a piece' at all times, patrol at night looking for zoning violations and malcontent landlords. 'Inspections' are quick and to the point, and failure to correct the violation within seven minutes constitutes grounds for the militia to 'resolve the problem' themselves. Code violations have dropped 99% since the militia volunteers replaced paid city officials.
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Old Goat - 2007-11-16 17:46:55
Every Tuesday, during the summer, is Goat Day in Ypsilanti. Local goat owners are assigned to herd their charges along the medians of assigned neighborhoods. "The goats come by and do a wonderful job on the weeds and grass." Said Mrs. Sourry on Maple St. "Plus the little berry's are easy to sweep into the yard where they rapidly break down."
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Writerguy - 2007-11-28 17:18:54
Under Planning: "Would cause the level of service to be extremely basic. Citizens would have reduced access to staff and information, only the most basic life-safety issues would be addressed, and the physical quality of life in the city would begin to deteriorate" "Next!" Hi, it's about that building on Oakwood, near the University? I was walking past there and a bunch of bricks fell off! Landed right next to the sidewalk! Nearly brained my son! "Landed NEXT to the sidewalk." That's right - "Your son - he's all right?" Yes, but - "Next!"
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