Oil was under $60 a barrel at that point, and the SKATS members were, with the exception of Lloyd Chapman, uniformly unreceptive to the message. The SKATS members went on about their business, figuring out how to pour more pavement to serve the ever more cars and driving that they expected to see. Like ostriches sticking their collective head in the sand.
Today, the Salem Statesman Journal reports that the ostrich strategy doesn't work all that well:
Gas burns through Salem city budget
Spike in fuel prices was not factored into its planning
The spike in diesel and gasoline prices has city government suffering from sticker shock along with consumers.
In the next fiscal year, fuel for Salem's fleet of police cars, fire trucks, public works vehicles and other equipment is expected to cost nearly $559,000 more than was estimated last fall.
Salem City Council on Monday approved additional money for fuel in the city's 2008-09 fiscal budget. City funds set aside for fuel purchases will go from little more than $1.2 million to about $1.8 million.
"We knew there was upward pressure on fuel over the last few years, but we didn't expect it to skyrocket,"said Debra Neville, Salem's budget officer. . . .