Dearth of Leadership – Jim Arnold

You say LOIT, and I say COIT.

You say no more taxes, I say man don’t you know it.

No LOIT, No More COIT, Why don’t our leaders know it?

Let’s call the whole thing off.


Ladies and gentlemen, please forgive me if parts of this speech sound familiar, but there are only so many ways to say that budget cuts are inevitable.  I could tell you that I am recycling an old speech to cut costs by conserving pricey nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs, but the sad  truth is that I am rehashing an old speech because it is painfully obvious that you weren’t listening the first eleventy-seven times, and so it goes.


Perhaps the City Council should implement a new tax called the Dearth of Leadership Tax, or DOLT, in honor of the acute lack of leadership that has brought us to this point.  But a better idea would be for each of you to pull out the budget, roll up your sleeves, and sharpen your # 2 pencils and cost cutter scissors before asking already overburdened tax payers to fork over more of their hard earned dollars. 


Excuse me if I am critical, but it has been known for over eighteen months that our 2009 budget would be short by millions   In 2008 and again in 2009 the CDCPTR submitted objecting petitions to the budgets, with line item budget reduction suggestions, but in spite of looming shortfalls those suggestions were not rendered due diligence even though they contained no cuts to public safety services, and no reductions in union arbitrated salaries or benefits.


The modernization and reorganization petitions proudly signed by over Two Thousand Two Hundred tired and tormented tax payers languished for months due to finagling and foot dragging and City Council resolution modifications that contained a defect.  The final resolution, delayed by almost a year, saddled the reorganization committee with two extra chefs to spoil the broth and a threshold that disenfranchised the very citizens you were elected to serve.


With all due respect to the City Council, raising taxes is NOT leadership.  Raising taxes because you are unwilling to make the tough budget cuts this city needs is simply business as usual, and the citizens of Muncie deserve better.  It is time for you to serve us as you promised you would do when you came to us with your hats in your hands and asked for our votes.


We do not want and can not afford LOIT, or an increased COIT.  What we want are public servants who will demonstrate fiscal responsibility, and live within our means.  Show us budget reductions FIRST, then we might be willing to consider new taxes later, BUT show us new taxes first, and we will show you the door the first chance we get.


Read my Lips, No New Taxes!


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