Response to commissioner’s letter
Isn’t it amazing how some people can use words to spin things into something which deflects from their actions and responsibility? Commissioner Nemacheck did just that in his letter to the editor on July 7, 2014.
I agree Gladstone city needs a new fire truck and Public Works building. The city also needs an additional full time public safety officer and city hall repairs. These are things which should be brought to the attention of and approved by the taxpayers period! You made the motion to levy the additional 1.8236 mills without public input or holding a public hearing. Commissioner Mattonen seconded your motion and Mayor Maki voted in favor of it. That is the bottom line.
Funny how it works though, the millage increase gets passed on a Monday and the following Saturday I get my tax bill with the increase already included in it. That wasn’t a full week before you managed to put the screws to the taxpayers.
You couldn’t wait another month or better yet put a millage increase on a ballot to specifically pay for the items you believe the city needs? How exactly could your decision be in the best interest of the people, when you didn’t bother to let them know what your intentions were, prior to making your motion and voting to raise our taxes? You already had a meeting regarding levying this year but went ahead anyway with raising our millage.
While we can debate your numbers all day, the bottom line is very simple. For every $50,000 in SEV the taxpayer will have to pay $91 more. Since property taxes and SEVs typically go up each year, the taxpayer will have to pay more and more each year. You didn’t mention that in your letter. Therefore, speaking to averages is deceptive simply because you tried to minimize the financial impact to the taxpayer by playing with numbers.
Using scare tactics about insurance rates going up won’t work either as we have a full time public safety department. If we did not have that then our insurance rates would most certainly go up.
Whether you were legal in making that decision, at that commission meeting, is a moot point. What does matter is that you are taking money from the taxpayers with no guarantee that it will ever be spent for the items you mentioned.
The current commission and future commissions can choose to spend that money in any manner they wish. That aspect alone makes your actions reckless and irresponsible for an elected official. That is why I called into question the character and motives of those who voted for that motion. It was an underhanded way of getting money as the city already had a balanced budget approved. Pull on peoples heartstrings all you want but you can’t avoid facing the consequences of your actions.