September 18, 2014
To the editor:
In the September 3 article “City hits the streets to promote ‘Parks, Pipes and Pavement,’” City Manager Carol Gonzales is quoted as saying, “If there were $3 million in our budget, we would have been spending it on roads already.”
I disagree. The money has been there and is there, but the city, through its leadership, has chosen to prioritize funds elsewhere.
So without raising any taxes, the following would produce the desired $3 million you seek:
• Spend 100 percent ($2.2 million) of the landfill impact fee on road maintenance instead of socking it away for some future “economic development” initiative. We need road maintenance now so you will have to postpone the want of throwing millions at a developer until later.
• Spend what you budget on street maintenance. From 2009 (skipping the 2008 economic downturn) through 2013 (latest year of actual figures), the difference between actual expenditures versus revised budgets has shown that the city underspent this budget line item by an average of $364,096 each year.
• Stop growing city government at the expense of maintaining our streets and increase the street maintenance general budget. From 2009 to 2015 the Administration general budget has increased 99 percent (an increase of $2.3 million) while Public Works general budget has only increased 10 percent (an increase of $740,200). Digging deeper into those departments, Administration General overhead grew $1.7 million while Public Works Street Maintenance was reduced $793,400.
The city doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem.
Originally published at: http://www.shawneedispatch.com/news/2014/sep/18/letter-editor-city-needs-be-better-about-watching-/