No word yet on whether Stringfellow Hawke has used the city's heliport.

This is how out of touch the city staff is with reality. The budget crisis is so bad that we’re going to furlough more employees, cut salaries and lay off cops (which, of course, is being called something else). But the staff wants to spend $137,000 more on our heliport — which is already costing us almost a quarter of a million dollars a year.

Thanks to Robert Wilonsky at the Observer for picking up on this, which I have been asking about for much of this year. Because this is really silly. Spending on the heliport (which the city calls a vertiport) has increased each of the last three fiscal years — from $204,000 to $237,000 annually — while we have been sinking into budget hell. Seriously. Check out page 159 of the Economic Vibrancy section of the 2009-10 budget.

Now, maybe, if Dallas’ Only Daily Newspaper and a TV station or two will pick up on this, we can embarrass the city staff and get the heliport closed, allowing us to spend the money on something worthwhile, like pot holes or library books or cops. Or, I suppose, we could count on the council to do it?