All content, of both the original and this blog, is written from my point of view and is my opinion. I believe it to be accurate at the time it is written. ~ Kyle Prast, Brookfield resident since 1986

Friday, December 01, 2006

Did you say, Thank you?

Last week the council voted down several attempts to lower the tax levy. Aldermen Sutton, Carnell, Balzer, Blackburn, and Jerry Mellone each voted for further reductions.

The remaining council rationalized their position of not making those cuts with the old, it would be irresponsible to cut now because it may cause a jump in future years. I do understand that position to a point. If you know you need to replace a fire truck next year for nearly a half a million dollars, you need to budget for that large expense.

I just happen to think that since it is my money, it should be kept in my custody until needed. Also, those large item replacements can be staggered, ½ million next year for fire trucks, ½ million the following year for computers, ½ million in 2008 for something else. The overall cash need does not change. Isn’t that the purpose of budgeting?

But there is another reason for their tactics of steadily increasing the tax rate and having numerous stashes of funding. That way, when they need funding for an unpopular expenditure, that need would not result in any dramatic increase on your tax bill. A large increase would capture the taxpayer’s unwanted attention. I believe their motive is to fly under the radar of public scrutiny.

The city, in essence, just keeps turning up the heat, increasing your taxes g r a d u a l l y. It is the same way you cook a lobster: just keep turning up the heat and the lobster does not notice it is being killed by the increases.

Certainly, if the city were to go ahead with the extra interchange at Calhoun, this would result in a noticeable increase in your taxes. They would not want taxpayers say, we don’t want this, or why are we funding this when it should be a state expense?

Rick Owen, in his usual condescending way, in essence put down Alderman Jerry Mellone for bringing up further budget cuts. Then a remarkable thing took place: Alderman Sutton eloquently put Rick in his place by reminding the council that Jerry Mellone had every right to bring up those cuts.

Soon we will get our annual holiday greetings from the city a.k.a. tax bill. I am grateful at least the budget was lowered somewhat in committee. As for the cuts that were shot down at the council meeting, Sutton pointed out they amounted to less than 1% of the budget. Funny, the city has no problem asking me contribute that.

IF you appreciate what those 5 aldermen tried to do to provide further tax relief, please let them know. It is discouraging to try to fight the good fight. We need to support them.

Bill Carnell 781-1058

Dan Sutton 373-0173

Ron Balzer 782-1177

Jerry Mellone 786-6719

Chris Blackburn 821-5262


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