A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“How can you tell which one of your friends got a good Black Friday deal?” (joke) (12/6)
“I remember when I was poor. I’m still poor that’s why I remember so well” (12/5)
“I’m glad I learned about parallelograms in high school instead of how to do my taxes” (12/5)
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Entry from February 07, 2013
“Politicians like to cut ribbons, but they don’t like to sweep brooms”

"Politicians like to cut ribbons, but they don’t like to sweep brooms” means that politicians like the ribbon-cutting ceremonies on large capital projects, but they don’t like project maintenance (such as sweeping with brooms). The large capital projects provide photo and publicity opportunities, but maintenance does not.

“Legislators prefer ribbons over brooms” has been cited in print since at least 2009, but the origin of the political adage is unknown.

Google Books
Why We’re Stuck in Traffic and What to Do About It

By Randal O’Toole
Washington, DC: Cato Institute
Pg. 30:
Legislators, she noted, prefer “ribbons over brooms,” that is, they prefer to fund capital projects (and the opportunity to cut ribbons when projects open) over maintenance.

Boston (MA) Globe
Year-round Gillette rail stop studied
Cost of cars, upgrades among the concerns

By Eric Moskowitz, Globe Staff | April 5, 2010
“We like to expand the system, we like to cut ribbons, but nobody cuts ribbons on new brake shoes and power substations,” said Regan, whose board represents member communities served by the T. “If you don’t maintain your existing system, basically you have a system that will collapse under the additional strain.”

DC Streetsblog
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
“Amtrak Joe” Biden, in Philly, Announces a New Plan for High-Speed Rail
by Tanya Snyder
(...) A wise scholar once said… .’’elected officials like to cut ribbons but don’t like to sweep brooms’’ (they like new projects, but not maintenance)

DC Streetsblog
Monday, March 7, 2011
Transpo’s Losses in First Round of Spending Cuts Look Worse Than They Are
by Tanya Snyder
It’s ironic they show an image of scissors. There’s an old saying, ‘’Politicians like to cut ribbons but they don’t like to sweep brooms’’. They prefer spening money on new projects not maintainence.

CT News Junkie
Busway Opponents Booed By Construction Workers
by Christine Stuart | Apr 18, 2012 11:19am
Michael Nicastro, president and CEO of the Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce, said the state has a bad habit.

“We love to cut ribbons, but we really hate maintenance afterward,” Nicastro said.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Thursday, February 07, 2013 • Permalink