Saturday, May 18, 2013
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
January 08, 2013
City shouldn't loan
MINET more money
I have to agree with the letter to the newspaper about why we of Independence are going to be "loaning" MINET funds when the city manager of Independence the week before wants to submit a tax measure for the city to vote "to maintain current city services."
MINET's financial adviser has told them they should not use "their financial reserves," but should seek a loan -- Independence and Monmouth seem to be willing to "loan" funds to them. Why can't they seek a loan from a regular lender like the rest of us would have to do?
Maybe the people of Independence should think over the past 10 to 15 years about "good intentions" by city managers and city councils that just didn't work out the way they were intended.
Examples: The "green building," the new city hall twice has flooded, the Ash Creek Trail, and then there was the vote to fix certain streets in north Independence: Williams, Log Cabin and Walnut. We all voted to fix them, but when it came time to do so only Williams in north Independence got worked on. Why? The city manager and city council decided after the vote to do G Street in south Independence instead, bypassing the vote of the people.
I have lived my entire 66 years here in Independence and I could go on, but the only thing that counts is that when it comes to a vote to "maintain current city services" after "loaning" MINET funds, my vote will be "no."
I now also understand the fire district wants to put a bond measure up for a vote of the people. Well, for them I intend to vote "yes."
Polk County residents and property owners pay millions of tax dollars each year.
Voter-approved property tax assessments range from a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars supporting everything from educational programs and cemeteries to roads, law enforcement and jails.
The way these tax dollars are spent is controlled by the decisions of publicly elected board members for each of the 42 Polk County taxing districts. The vast majority of the elected board members -- whether city councils, school boards, fire districts or other tax-funded organizations -- serve as civic volunteers without pay. The only exceptions are the three Polk County commissioners, who pay themselves salaries of $68,160 annually plus retirement and health benefits with Polk County property tax dollars.
I encourage Polk County taxpayers to ask why these elected county officials are paying themselves salaries when every city council member in Polk County performs identical budget and legislative duties as citizen volunteers. I would ask Polk commissioners to justify why they receive salaries while volunteer school district board members and city councils, some of whom control larger budgets, do so without compensation.
In this era of declining public revenue in Polk County, I invite the Polk County Board of Commissioners to justify why their wages should not be seriously reduced in the overall interest of Polk County property taxpayers.