The last commission meeting was refreshing when the newly elected officers attended the commission meeting and engaged in discussion, but the same old topics came up to be rehashed over and over again with very little progress being made. The City Hall move and the situation with the pavilion hovers constantly with seven or more years in the making without anyone knowing how to problem solve and gather the right players together to keep the momentum going for an end result.
The biggest elephant in the room is how to finance the projects. It is just not productive to start making plans to move City Hall and find out after all the plans have been made that there is no money to bring the projects to a conclusion. The city told us that it was practically a necessity to move out of the City Hall building seven years ago and the building still stands. One hundred year old buildings are being rehabilitated downtown and the fifty year old city building is looking at the wrecking ball, so go figure that one out. If the city cannot afford to fix up the present building, how does the city justify coming up with the money to move not only city Hall, but the police station and the court? Don’t tell the citizens how poor the city is and then attempt to move City Hall because the taxpayer is not going to buy into it.
Fire Station No. 7’s dilemma needs to be resolved along with so many other things that are on high on the priority list before we even think about relocating City Hall. The newly elected officers want to address the budget and at the same time they talk about moving City Hall when our debt is $67 million plus; it is astonishing to say the least.
The city would like to hear from the taxpayers once again to get their input on what it needs out of the 2014 budget. I believe it is some kind of public relations get together to sell us on just how bad the city finances really are so they can ramp up the idea of a tax increase. The citizens already know how bad things are but certain commissioners think there is a money tree out behind City Hall. Could it be that the city has a spending problem instead of a revenue problem?
The city’s debt needs to stabilize by not borrowing any more money until such time it can get most of their debt down so money can be freed up to do the things it wishes to do. It is shameful to have $3 million setting in the general fund that the city can’t touch because of our debt load.
Until next week, simply moving City Hall because certain people would like to see some kind of development downtown is not a good enough reason for the taxpayers to foot the bill for such a tremendous expense. Even the city treasurer stated we didn’t have the money to move, so why are we wasting time talking about a subject that has no merit?