Letter to the editor: City spending questioned
To the editor:
Given the current economic state of this country, the news of a 7 percent increase in salary is mind blowing. Our employees deserve this "raise" (a 2.5 percent performance increase and 4.5 percent cost of living raise), or we may lose them. We do have valuable employees and they should be paid a fair and deserved salary. Most all employees live in town, pay city utilities, sales taxes, property taxes, etc. Investing in quality employees is how we keep our town running smoothly.
To quote Mr. Yanez (relating the opinion that road development south of the city limits will be a boon to our economy), "We are in a bit of a holding pattern until the private sector is re-energized."
I have an ongoing disagreement with city administration on this subject. Rooftops do not improve our standard of living, and what type of industry will be paying city taxes? This road improvement will encourage nothing but development south of town as there will be a convenient bypass with the new turnpike interchange.
With record expenditures by our administration and approval by most of the council - and no fiscal responsibility in sight - our indebtedness drastically affects your taxes and city utilities.
Dollar examples are:
$5 million water line; $2 million city shop; $3 million city pool; $1.5 million contribution to Leavenworth County for County Road 1; $800,000 fire station improvement; $680,000 sewer extension; $45,000 club cab pickup; $30,000 study to see what is wrong with downtown; $10,000 lawnmower.
There are at least three more employees, Pleasant Street, Second Street, Fourth Street, Church Street, skateboard park, plans for a new city hall and police station as well as fuel, fire protection and liability insurance; the tab for all this is to be picked up by local taxpayers.
Surely the two new flat screen TVs purchased by the city to broadcast the news about the economy and papers do tell of belt tightening by state, county and other municipalities in our area.
Unfortunately, 2009 will be remembered as the good 'ol days when in 2010 all the bonds and debts our city has are called in. Maybe this is the time for a total house cleaning and recall of city officials.