To the Editor:
Local elected officers seem to have one answer for all issues: spend more money and then decry the need to raise your property taxes.
Several projects afoot could blow the lid off government budgets. Or more to the point, blow your personal budget once you factor in the property tax increases they may bring.
Xcel Energy has won tax reductions of more than 60 percent in 12 years. It was not Xcel that shifted taxes to your property; that shift was done by local elected officers. County commissioners and City Council members chose for you and me to make up the entire amount.
There was no reduction in spending, there was no combination of spending reductions and tax increases. There were only tax increases.
The Department of Revenue is planning to grant Xcel more reductions. How will your local elected officials budget for the loss of tax revenue?
Let's talk about the new council chambers. The city held a meeting to spend $40,000 upgrading current chambers. Well at that meeting, drawings were presented for a new chamber, at a cost of just under a half million dollars.
Why wasn't this mentioned in the meeting notice. Why wasn't the meeting videotaped with all the new video equipment? Is the fish smell coming from the river or City Hall?
Now we learn that the chambers may cost almost three-quarters of a million dollars. Is it legal for administration to spend additional money without approval?
More importantly, why didn't even one council member ask any questions? This is an outrage. Who is running this city, the council or administration?
The fall election can be a performance evaluation of officeholders. The voters also can send a message to those not on the ballot and to the county and city administrations. Local offices and incumbents on the ballot include:
Commissioner District 2, Richard Samuelson; District 4, Jim Bryant.
Councilman at large, Gary Nordmark; Wards 1 and 2, Dean Hove; Ward 3, John Key; Ward 4.. Jerry Cook.
Interested citizens may file for office from July 5-18 with the auditor treasurer or city clerk. Voters, express your choice in the Sept. 12 primary and Nov. 7 general election.
I'm volunteering to help my favorite candidate. You should also get involved.