No One listened.
Tonight I am going to read some comments from Chris Hiatt president of the Citizens of Delaware County for Property Tax Repeal, followed by some commentary borrowed from a recent Our View column in the Star Press titled “It’s no Mystery how City ended up in Crises”.
First, some comments from Chris.
In the fall of 2007, we asked for serious cuts to the 2008 Budgets in preparation for the inevitable…..no one listened.
In October of 2007 we proposed voluntary consolidations…..no one listened.
In following months we pointed to the multiple TIF Districts, with bulging balances that could be used either to retire the debt, saving millions in wasted interest expense , or better yet, abolished in order to return even more millions to the various contributing taxing districts…..no one listened.
Next we exposed dubious Common Construction Wage practices that have been costing Delaware County and her Cities millions of dollars….no one listened.
In January and February of 2008 we petitioned for Modernization and Consolidation…..some reluctantly listened while simultaneously looking for ways to render the effort useless.
As far back as early summer of 2008 we warned of an estimated revenue shortfall of nearly $3 million dollars for 2009 and $4.5 million for 2010…no one listened.
In 2008 and again in 2009 we submitted objecting petitions to budgets with line item budget reduction suggestions. Keep in mind that these suggestions contained no cuts to public safety services, and no reductions in union arbitrated salaries………no one listened.
In the fall of 2008 we proposed sweeping departmental budget cuts, and worked up a comprehensive plan to cut $3 million from the 2009 Budget……..no one listened.
The Star Press penned it perfectly when they opined that “Elected officials on all levels stuck their heads in the sand, used uncertainty over the precise numbers to justify inaction and allowed partisan politics to trump sound fiscal policy and paralyze government”.
Every single elected official, they said, bears responsibility for where the city is today. Now, they must share the responsibility for finding a way out of this mess.
On more than one occasion, citizens have implored you the members of the City Council and the Mayor to open a channel of communication to work together to resolve the serious problems facing our city, and the Star Press article concurred when it declared that “the mayor and members of the city council must put aside their differences, and start talking to each other”. “BUT, more important than talk is finding solutions and implementing them. They must make hard choices regardless of special interests”.
Your citizens are asking you to think outside of the box to find creative ways to cut costs while still providing public safety and other critical government services. We ARE NOT giving you the green light to saddle us with new taxes.
Say NO to LOIT, Say NO to COIT. Say YES to fiscal responsibility