My topic this week is about the City’s Community Focus Meetings.
I was present for one of the Community Focus Meetings. I had all my questions and suggestions ready to flow; but instead, I am being handed a remote transmitter. The transmitter was provided to click the answers to the questions being placed on the screen, a multiple choice and a yes or no to the answers. We are clicking away on our wish list when the questions start to turn ugly. The words income tax and special fees started showing up on every question thereafter to help pay for our every wish.
It is a slippery slope to talk about income tax or special fees for certain services. We already pay for those services, but they are being slowly eliminated due to higher wages and benefits we must pay out to the employees. Government employees are paid well above the private sector employees and the demand for more wages could become uncontrollable when special fees are implemented for different services. The worst thing that can happen is switching the fire and police into a separate tax levy placing the financial burden of responsibility directly on the taxpayer freeing up more money in the general fund.
Experiencing a recession takes on a whole new outlook on the finances. We undergo a correction and reality checks as to how tax dollars are being spent. It seems it is so much easier to manage government by asking for more tax dollars then using management skills to think outside of the box.
I cannot understand the city talking about moving City Hall and at the same time they think about leveling special fees or an income tax increase on the taxpayer in order to provide for the daily essentials while freeing up other money to provide for moving City Hall. The people need to see through the probability of an income tax hike or special service fees as a way to fund the City Hall move and support more wages and benefits.
Services have suffered due to poor leadership in the past which wasted so much of our tax dollars through ill-conceived development projects that the city should have never been involved in the first place. Developers come to the city stating they have a dream and then tell the city that they need to use our tax dollars and staff to make their development dream come true.
Until next week, the taxpayer should not give the city any money to move City Hall while short changing our services in the process.