Why raise Gladstone’s millage?

EDITOR:

Why did Commissioners Dave Nemacheck, Hugo Mattonen and Mayor Joe Maki raise Gladstone City millage by 1.8236 without having any public input or hold a public hearing? Do Commissioners Nemacheck, Mattonen and Mayor Maki realize that these mills are not restricted and can be used for “anything?” Do they know that not only this current commission but any future commissioners could chose to put that money towards anything other than the stated “goals” of renovating city hall, hiring a public safety officer, build a new public works building, replace the city’s fleet and purchasing a new fire truck? Do the Gladstone taxpayers know that this millage increase will never be voted on by them and will never expire? Do the Gladstone taxpayers know that the millage was dropped last year in order to replace it with a fee based system for garbage collection? The millage of 1.8236 was previously used for garbage collection and was not fair to the taxpayers because taxpayers paid different amounts for the same service. That system did make the city better and did not hurt it as Commissioner Mattonen would have you believe. In plain words I would call the millage increase a classic example of corruption. The only thing Commissioner Mattonen got right was that replacing the millage at the time with a fee-based system was a good idea. It’s the same kind of good idea as passing a balanced budget is.

Shockingly, this millage increase came after they passed a balanced budget and after Mayor Maki called a special meeting for public input on how to continue current service levels without additional revenue growth. For them to then turn around and pass a millage increase without public input or public hearing is downright underhanded and calls into question to character of those officials. Furthermore, Gladstone city will not achieve growth while treating the symptom rather than the core problem. Problem being, lack of growth.

One, don’t pass millage increases without public input and without a public hearing. It would always be better to put it to a vote and let the taxpayers decide if the city needs the money. Two, if you do pass millage increases, without public input or hearings, then have a meeting and reverse your decision. (Sorry Gladstone taxpayers but you won’t see the millage drop this year because it’s too late for that, but maybe there’s some hope for next year.) Three, resign your commission seat and let someone in who will “honestly” look out for the welfare of this city and its taxpayers. Since the three commissioners who voted for this increase will likely do none of these then they will face getting recalled.

Let this be a clear warning to everyone who is either an elected official or is employed by the City of Gladstone. You can be replaced. I have a vested interest in the success of this city along with all other taxpayers so don’t forget who you work for!”

Tim DeClaire

Gladstone