The Transcript’s editorial of "He said, he said" (Thursday, July 12) couldn’t have been more off base. This isn’t, or shouldn’t be, whether you are a fan of Mayor Alcombright or a supporter of Councilor Barrett. Nor is it about style, semantics or whose way is the best way.
It should really be a matter of results or lack of results, and the bottom line over the past two plus years. Is the City Council really conducting business in a proper manner of due diligence as a legislative body, following correct procedures, or simply supporting the mayor and his agenda, whatever it may be? In my opinion, there is a city charter, there are city ordinances and there is a compensation plan that all should be followed, and it appears that they are not.
A few facts to consider from the past 30 months:
* Property taxes increased 21 percent
* Water rates have increased 15 percent
* New sewer fee enacted with the mayor’s thought to create enterprise fund
* Failure to create an enterprise fund
* Failing infrastructure (water/sewer lines, sidewalks and roadways -- Crest Street has been closed for nearly one year.)
Is your neighborhood or the city in better overall condition today? Have there been any vast improvements
The current fiscal year budget has:
* $0 for human services
* $0 for conservation commission
* $0 for the historical commission (yet we try to save our historical landmarks)
* $0 for youth services (no creation of the skateboard park for our kids)
* Only $30,000 allocated for road paving of $915,000 generated in excise revenue. Excessive raises have been given, during a time of economic downturn.
Is it improper or no longer politically correct for a taxpayer, a resident or councilor to ask questions? Where are the jobs the mayor promised? Where is the economic downtown development strategy? The mayor’s 2011 campaign statement, six months and $5 million in a collaborated effort to open up the Mohawk Theater? (I believe it’s still dormant.)
A thought to ponder: As a city with a population of around 13,000, an ever-shrinking tax base, no economic development strategy and the escalating cost to support city government, could we indeed end up a city in so called municipal bankruptcy?
It is extremely concerning to have a mayor who has chastised a city councilor for having "a taxpayer mentality" and to have local media that puts a negative spin on a councilor seeking transparency and accountability in city government.