Having conservative views, when I review each budget item, I have one thing in mind. How can we lower the cost of this item and is it part of the needs or wants? The city needs to control the budget similar to how we run our own households. We pay our bills first, then pay down our debt and we adjust our living expenses by what is left over.
With each meeting, I see thousands of dollars being discussed but we need to get creative and scale back what we are spending instead of taking the easy route to further tax the citizens. We need to work within our existing budget. Costly Propositions were on last May's ballot when voter turnout is especially small. However, it was not listed how these items were going to be paid for. If you continue to offer people things, they are most likely going to say 'Yes' to them. We need to be more transparent and say if you want the city to fix the streets or improve the drainage to prepare for the next disaster, then we cut back on things we can delay until we pay down our debt.
We need to keep TABS on City Hall
Continuing to increase property taxes is putting more of a burden on our citizens. People on fixed incomes are going to be taxed right out of their homes.
We are in the midst of a water billing nightmare. The city is behind collecting $8.1 million dollars (as of April) due to them deviating from standards. But they didn't notice the error for almost 2 years and then tried to blame it on an ex-employee.
The budget needs to be scrubbed annually and subject to citizen review and comments. Excess trips, seminars and conferences need to be justified and there shouldn't be any miscellaneous or other categories.
We need to continue supporting our police, fire and rescue team and addressing the aging infrastructure of our city. We need to prioritize.
City Credit Card spending
Credit Card Statement - January 2019 - July 2020
I obtained a year and a half worth of the most recent credit card statements to review the spending habits of the city. I reviewed 11,000 records and categorized them to make it easier to analyze the data and present it to you, the informed voter. I want to create a video series to highlight my findings and let YOU decide if you approve of how your tax dollars are being use:
1. City Credit Card Dashboard and Rewards Program:
2. Streets and Sidewalks (benefit everyone) vs Conferences (benefit a few):
3. Rewards (cont.) & Councilmember credit card charges: