Show and tell is on the road

Register
Feb 25, 2014

 

The town hall meeting was what I expected. The city has taken the show on the road to try and convince the citizens that it needs a tax increase and City Hall must be moved. I expect future town hall meetings will be much of the same until the city actually places the tax issue on the ballot. 
 
For about an hour, the charts came out and the bad news just kept pouring out, one chart worse than the other one. The words tax increase came up, but the city doesn’t quite know how to present the increase. Should the city place an income tax on the ballot or a safety levy? When should the city place the increase on the ballot? November is out of the question because another school levy is expected to be on the ballot.
 
The next thing that was talked about was the City Hall move. The interest rates are so low that it will be an ideal time to accumulate more debt. Interest rates may be low, but the city still has to make a payment on another loan. Does it make any sense to go into more debt just because interest rates are low?
 
Making the City Hall relocation a top priority is not what the taxpayers have in mind when the city talks about a tax increase. The city needs to recognize that its borders stretch beyond downtown. All that the city can think about is spending more money on downtown projects, including moving City Hall while the budget is cut even more to accommodate downtown’s wish list of projects.
 
It is discouraging to think that most of the tax increase could go towards moving City Hall instead of tackling the real needs of the community. Yes, the city is behind in development, but when the city becomes the developer, the taxpayers pick up the expense of the development while other needed projects will be delayed for who knows how long. The city needs to get its priorities straight by spending the money on fixing the streets and updating the services and equipment so staff has the tools available to operate efficiently.

Comments

Bogtrotter

Tsed thro

slightthroat212

This city seems to take everything from Cedar Point and rely heavily on that as its only source of income. While Cedar Point is a great resort, is it fair to pass all the income onto people who visit here? Why are there no industires and work here in this town? Where are you businesses and income makers? I am just a guest here right now, but it seems to me that with nothing but negative comments such as these she writes, that this city isn't going anywhere.

If you aren't going to give positive motivations, then say nothing at all instead of just complaining each week. Give some positive ideas in detail and get people started in the right direction. I see nothing coming positively from anyone here and that is sad. Your city manager makes no suggestions nor do the people on your counsel. Why is that? Your city manager should be searching for business to come here. That should be a TOP priority in this town. Your mayor or what ever he is called should be deciding what money gets spent and how appropriations are divided. Balancing this budget you have should be HIS top priority with his council people. But everyone seems to have their own agenda.

I am sorry to spout off but it makes me sad that this cute little town is in such an uproar over petty things. If you need a new town hall, build it. If you don't, then don't waste time bickering. It sounds like you need it, so do it. Stop fighting about it.

But then get to work getting some businesses in there to buffer your debt load. Why is it that Perkins Twpshp isn't having any trouble bringing in business but you do? Seems kind of funny to me.

doppleganger

So by your own admission, you don't live here. You don't pay part of your paycheck every week to live here. You don't have a house that might or might not get saved in a fire because we are short of firefighters because money was spent elsewhere.

You say: " If you need a new town hall, build it. " How nice. People like you are part of the reason this country is in the mess it is in. Oh, I don't have money for a new house, but I WANT one! I guess I'll just go and build one. We can't afford a new city hall! Have you seen the streets in this town? We can not afford to pave giant pot holes but you think we should build a new city hall. There are many more important things that should be addressed before a new city hall is built!

Pardon me, but you don't have a dog in this fight so you really should keep your opinions to yourself.

slightthroat212

Really? I came here with money to BUY into this beautiful area so I do have a "dog" in this fight. My intent to put money here. So my opinion should count just as much as yours: in fact just as much considering the amount I intend to spend here. I have viewed your streets and cannot imagine how long this damage has sat there...it sure didn't happen overnight. It has been there some time. Did your council have blinders on or did they just ignore it for a period of time and put money elsewhere? Where was it spent? In fixing up the old city hall? I bet good money that is EXACTLY where it went. Why did no one commplain then? I worked very hard for a LONG time to get where I am. I worked long hours and saved my money. So do not assume too much my friend. I paid my taxes and worked like a dog. I bet you assume I am a welfare receipiant and worse. Not so. You probably are one of the Sanduskians who cannot stand to change. You want everything as it is an fear that Sandusky will become different than it has been for years....right? Will this town will die if something does NOT change. You don't need more condo's my friend, you need factories, jobs and a new downtown. Face it. And until you get people in here running things who see that, you will never survive the march of time. It will keep marching until it marches right over you and kills this place completely. Just look at Perkins Township.

T. A. Schwanger

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@ Slightthroat:

As a lifelong resident in Sandusky, I'll answer some of your concerns.

Throughout history, City leaders have claimed poverty and the need for an income tax increase, yet out of control spending continued.

There have been a number of attempts to convince the taxpayers to increase the income tax, including one attempt to build a new fire station, which failed, yet a new fire station was built shortly thereafter. Another income tax increase failed not long ago which was to be earmarked for Safety Services and other items.

In each of these cases, relocation of City Hall was at the forefront of the tax increase discussion. The same holds true for the current tax increase discussion.

The more revenue coming in, the more the City can borrow. The reason City leaders and the Finance Committee has decided a $4 million dollar carryover balance is necessary is because we are in debt, much of which comes from water treatment facilities, but a huge chunk is from the Safety Services Center, Fire Station, Cold Creek Crossings and past improvements to City Hall.

This past Monday, the City Commission voted to forgive $1.1 million in infrastructure improvements property assessments at the Cold Creek Crossings.

Commissioner Smith wants to talk economic development. To date, the only economic discussion we've heard is sell City Hall-sell the Sandusky Bay Pavilion for private development. What about the Keller Property, Wysteria Farms, APEX, Sandusky Cabinets?

We are paying the Erie County Economic Development Corporation $30,000 with little or no return. Let's take the $30,000 and hire our own economic specialist to work on City development only.

slightthroat212

TA Schwanger....Is it Mr or Mrs? I wasn't aware I asked you any questions, as I was answering the person who said I had no "dog" in this fight and should "keep my opinions to myself" which isn't exactly the nicest thing to say to a newcomer to your town. What a nasty comment to someone who is searching the area for a fairly expensive house which will add to your tax base.

While I appreciate your comments, I have read a great deal of your comments and understand them, I can also, having been following a lot of this online, see the handwriting on the wall. You are facing now, what we faced where I came from. My town faced pouring money into a building over and over again. When it came time to decide whether to keep doing so or building new, the city finally built new. The cost effectiveness was better overall than trying to keep going with the old, which was over 30 years. I don't know what you debt load is completely here, but if your city has a chance to sell the old building why not sell it as you have pointed out? Is the Sandusky Bay Pavilion where the old swimming pool is? Why not sell it as well? That seems to be a drain on city finances and sits with no one using it anyway. I have always felt when something is not being used and costs one something it is better off to go than to drain one's pocketbook. Is the Keller Building not the thing being torn down? What is Wysteria Farm? APEX and Sandusky Cabinet? Are they near by? Please explain those. Thanks.

DEATHnTAXES

It never ceases to amaze me how people can comment and pretend they know everything about this City without first taking the time to learn and observe the community.

slightthroat212

I take it I am speaking to the wrong source? Ok, then, thanks for the info. I am beginning to wonder if I haven't made a huge mistake here. Perhaps it would be a good idea to look elsewhere for my permanent home. This is a little to "knuckebiting" for my taste. I just wanted to come be near my brother and his family and leave the coast for season changes and happiness again. I guess I was wrong. You people like way too much fighting and grousing. I had enough of that in corporate America to last me another lifetime.

You have a pretty town here, you better start taking better care of it before it dies out. Even plants need watering from time to time. The truth is, in order to survive you need to get rid of the old and bring in some new now and again to revitalize anything. You cannot keep a building past it's prime any more than you can a plant. Everything eventually dies. It's a fact of life.

JMOP's picture
JMOP

"The interest rates are so low that it will be an ideal time to accumulate more debt."

I don't think that's a good enough excuse either.

The Bizness

I did not go to these town halls do to me working when they were going on but just out of curiosity did they allow the the general public to speak their opinions? If they did, then this article is once again ridiculous. The elected officials have every right to pursue what they think their constituents want.

I want a City Hall that works, and I don't care where it goes but what we have now just won't work. It costs too much money to run, and would cost too much money to renovate.

As for taxes, I will wait and see what this commission comes up with, and what their plans are and if I like what they offer I will vote for it. If I don't, then I won't.

Once again Sharon, you are bringing nothing to the table other than a negativity.

P.S. Slightthroat said what I say just about every week, so preach! ha

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

The public had and took the three opportunities available. There was one at the beginning of the meeting (which the commissioners generously allowed those to go past the three minute mark), remarks before the specific vote, and the "five minutes" after the vote at the podium. Despite the dour topic at hand I would like to think it was a well-communicated "stepping stone" budget that keeps options open for the future.

The Bizness

Thanks Hero!