The article below is from another local Cleburne blog. We need to get the info out and defeat this proposed tax increase. Hey people, many folks are suffering, doing with out, tightening the belt. Our nation and state are in spending and budget crisis, and these guys just look for ways to spend. You would think the city officials of Cleburne were democrats/socialist/communist, opps did I say that aloud? Maybe they are just Rhinos, (Republicans in name only). The city charter should require a balanced budget if it doesn’t, in addition a cap on spending similar to the proposed balanced budget amendment that the Federal senate is working on now. In this proposed amendment the Federal Government could not spend no more than 18% of the GDP. Government appetite is never satisfied, we the people have to say no and put them on a permanent diet. Some of the things they are proposing looks like to me nothing more than buying votes. If these propositions pass you will be paying 1/4% more sales tax. Remember freedom is not free! When good men do nothing evil men prevail. Now for the blog.
On Saturday, May 14th the City of Cleburne wants to raise your taxes. Again.
JUST SAY NO.
Say NO to Proposition 1.
Say NO to Proposition 2.
Do you think the City of Cleburne has spent your tax dollars frugally so far? In this down economy, don’t let the City of Cleburne INCREASE the percentage of money taken from you? Don’t let it happen. Vote NO.
The two Propositions would spend money on the following:
Year One: $75,000 dollars just to start designing a new fire station.
Year Two: $75,000 MORE dollars toward designing a new fire station.
There are three new fire stations in Cleburne. Why can’t we use THOSE designs?
Year One: $9,000 on providing free “Hot Shots” Flu Vaccine and staffing
Year Two: $9,000 MORE on providing free “Hot Shots” Flu Vaccine and staffing
During the 60 days that the fire department issued free shots last year, they put other fire department business issues on hold. (page 16 of fcdplan.pdf) And, are Flu shots really a fire department issue?
Year One: $5000 to purchase 500 smoke detectors to give out free to public.
Year Two: $5000 MORE to provide 500 smoke detectors to give out free to public.
Year One: 500 batteries for each smoke detector
Year Two: 500 MORE batteries for each smoke detector
Year One: $50,000 dollars for a Community Outreach Coordinator
Year Two: $50,000 dollars for a Community Outreach Coordinator
Year One: $300,000 dollars on 6 new police cars – because they cost too much to repair?
If (hypothetically) $10,000 a year per vehicle was spent repairing the existing 14 police cars, that would still ONLY be $140,000 a year. What are the actual repair costs currently for all 14 cars?
Year Two: $300,000 dollars on 6 MORE new police cars.
NOW we are looking at $700,000 dollars. I admit, new cars are awfully cool. But it is a luxury. Can Cleburne, Texas, afford luxury right now?
Year One: $11,700 for ONE billboard sign to let people know that if they don’t have insurance, their vehicle can towed. Other messages are options, but no others were offered in the final presentation.
Year Two: $11,700 for the one billboard again. Yes, this is a repeating issue.
Year One: $150,000 for reserve. Nothing firm yet – just wait to see what we need as it comes up.
Year Two: $150,000 for reserve. Again, nothing firm yet. We want the money just in case.
Well, it is possible (page 8 in final presentation) that this could be spent on renovating new police headquarters.
Year One: $102,600 on three new motorcycles. “The three motorcycles currently in use are having major mechanical issues and all three need to be replaced. ” (page 6 of final presentation document). Seems to me that a lot less money could be spent on quality repairs for these bikes. Which mechanic made the determination that it would be more cost-effective to replace? With money from the new tax, of course.
Out of the two Propositions on the ballot, the one for the Fire Department makes the most sense. There is a lot of specialty equipment that truly does take money. However, there is still too much wasteful spending. I still recommend a NO until a more sound proposal is presented.
Proposition two is just absolutely full of wasteful spending. SAY NO!
Here are a few thoughts to consider; reflecting on how the City of Cleburne has spent money in the past.
$237,900 spent on the CLEBURNE MUNICIPAL GOLF COURSE.
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO NEGOTIATE AND
EXECUTE A CONTRACT WITH JOHN DEERE CREDIT, THROUGH THE TEXAS
BUYBOARD CONTRACT, TO PROVIDE MAINTENANCE EQUIPMENT FOR THE
CLEBURNE MUNICIPAL GOLF COURSE (CLEBURNE GOLF LINKS).
Kim Galvin, Budget and Purchasing Manager stated that this contract will provide necessary
equipment to maintain the golf course. The contract would be for three years, with lease payments of $79,300 per year. The contract will include a non-appropriation clause and product warranty for the entire lease period.
Speakers: Rick Moore, Professional Turf Products representative, spoke in opposition to this
MOTION: to approve as presented
The recently opened Cleburne Links Golf Course is also projected to operate at a $350,000 to $400,000 loss next year.
Revenues are projected at about $1.3 million while expenses are projected about $1.7 million. Start up costs make up part of that gap, Wilmore said.
City officials predict the course will operate near or at the break even point within three years, Nolen said.
The course has been very successful, said Max Robertson, parks and recreation director.
Since opening on July 4, the course has collected about $394,000 in revenues with about $100,000 more from the pro shop, restaurant and beverage sales.
Here is an example of the city procuring equipment without needing tax dollars.
March 24, 2011
Council members voted to accept grant funds for two projects. The first, totalling $65,500, will pay for a new vehicle for the Cleburne Police Department’s crime scene investigators. The current CSI vehicle will also remain in use, Cleburne Police Chief Terry Powell said.
The second grant, totalling $74,981.95, will fund radio system upgrades for CPD. Neither grant requires matching funds from the city, Powell said.
Council members also authorized Huffman Consulting Engineers for design improvements for streets, drainage, sidewalks and water and sewer on Poindexter, Park, Morgan and Mansfield roads at a cost not to exceed $170,500.
– This blog and opinion piece written by John Chapman
Link to blogg