Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Springfield City Council: Playing Politics with Resolutions?

The moment will have passed by the time I will have a chance to do the topic justice but, let me just make a couple of points regarding current City events.

On Monday night, the Mayor pulled a resolution from the City Council agenda which would have alerted the public and state legislators that the City Council was opposed to the state version of the FairTax.

It isn't unprecedented for the Springfield City Council to pass such resolutions and it isn't unprecedented for the County Commission to join the City Council in a "joint resolution" but, that isn't the point.

I'm beginning to wonder if we do not have a resolution happy Mayor on our hands.

In a newspaper article today, I have read the Mayor is "drafting" a new resolution before the Council to "scold" A T & T for recovering the costs of a settlement made to the City of Springfield.

It wouldn't seem so ridiculous to me if I didn't believe that if the City had an opportunity to cite two state statutes which allowed the City the right to recover the cost of resurfacing City streets (for instance) through some "back door" tax (sic), the City wouldn't jump all over it. I firmly believe if the City could do it and say, "According to state statute we have a right and we are doing nothing wrong," they would add such a fee in a heart beat. And, ironically, the Mayor opposes A T & T (a corporation) reimbursing its costs while losing $63,000 in taxpayer funds due to the City's Council authorized choice to place the CIP sales tax renewal election on a June ballot rather than on the April ballot that was already scheduled.

Add to the above the fact that, when all is said and done, I can clearly discern a principle of the FairTax hidden in the article I read this morning exposing all this silliness. Corporations do not pay taxes, people pay taxes. So, the City taxes A T & T and A T & T, in turn, adds a fee to its customers' bills to recover the taxes with which the City has charged it. It's a very simple lesson and O'Neal, if he had thought it through, might have realized his opposition to what A T & T is doing draws him closer to the FairTax philosophy. Irony abounds.

In the meantime, how seriously should we take Springfield City Council resolutions in the future? Are the resolutions the Mayor is proposing representative of mere political preference or are they resolutions meant to champion a principle which is representative of the view of the constituents Council members are meant to represent? I hope Council resolutions don't end up meaning less because they are based on politics rather than principles and on personal preference rather than right and wrong. Perhaps we should call for a resolution to cease frivolous resolutions.



Anonymous said...

As long silent SGC constituents push to become well organized tax advocacy & budget hawk groups, local government will inevitably establish protocol & become well versed in the process of repeal, constituent petitioning & conference of local government ordinances with state statues. For too long Council decorum has been without input from 80% of the 126,000 registered voters. With over 10,000 Council approved ordinances, time &time again Council has become to well versed in the decorum “There was an opportunity given for citizen’s to express their views. With no appearances, the discussion was declared closed”.

For more than 2 decades tax proponents; a group of 350 community businesses collaborating with city & county officials) have been unopposed resulting in a considerable amount of city funds being spent as a result of poor planning & poor oversight. The City’s investing in several capital improvement projects & decisions regarding employee benefits have required/will require a significant amount of city resources & has/will accumulate a significant oppressing future liability for taxpayer’s.
Additionally, CU has provided several millions of dollars to the city for various projects over the past few years. As a result, CU's customers are being required to subsidize the cost of some city services through the payment of their utility bills. Rates for utility services should be set to cover the costs of producing & delivering services, not generate profits to fund (through subsidization) other services provided by the city or provide the opportunity for CU to spend monies unnecessarily.

Meetings mandating our local officials support the preservation of our constitutional rights have too long been neglected by Council approved ordinances many circumventing conference with state laws. Future Council meetings should be filled with constituents mandating accountability of our $250 million + in tax paid revenue resources. Council can pound their gavel if they want but the thunder of taxpayer applause will not be silenced.

Busplunge said...

for what it's worth, I don't mind subsidizing public transportation through my City Utilities bill.

Jim Hornaday said...

Jackie: You have presented us with an excellent comprehensive list of means by which our council has subverted citizens' intents, and how they achieve anything they want. The problem with merely looking at the ways they do citizens dirt is endless. People with non-citizen oriented aspirations for power and control can always generate a new way to gain what they want.

I would suggest we will have continued problems as long as we have power & control freaks sitting on council.