Golden Valley’s Alleged Conservative Budget
By Andrew Richter
Ugh….Golden Valley….need I say more….
Well back on December 3 they had their lie in (excuse me) truth in taxation hearing and here are the exciting highlights of their budget;
*They added 1.5 Full Time Employees at the cost of $127,940. This includes a code inspector who is supposedly going to go around to houses and enforce city code. This will be done with no regard to the 4th amendment to the Constitution which nobody on this council probably can even recite.
*They are adding another traffic officer to help enforce the police state at a cost of $67,205
*Park & Recreation Programs will add another $82,735!
Now keep in mind that the city got $219,290 in Local Government Aid for 2014. They didn’t anything in 2013. So you’d think taxes would go down right? Nope.
*Property taxes increased $314,094 or 2.57%. What happened to property tax relief?
At the hearing three residents spoke in opposition to the budget but as always it had no effect on the outcome.
The comment of the council show that not one member in interested in less government. Read these comments at your own risk….you may get more gray hair reading them;
De De Scanlon: “We did put an incredible amount of time in with this budget.”
I’m sorry but isn’t that your job?
Scanlon: “I understand the frustration of your home value going down and your taxes going up.”
Well then do something about it by CUTTING SPENDING!
Scanlon: We keep looking at if we lower taxes what services would we cut?”
Well, have you cut ANYTHING??? I doubt it….
Steve Schmidgall went on and on about their stupid “city survey” and tried to use that to justify more taxes.
Schmidgall: “All city services were rated positively by residents.”
So what is that? A license to just keep taxing and spending?
Schmidgall: “We’ve been frugal and conservative….we’re trying to maintain a high level of service without increasing taxes.”
Frugal? Conservative? What? If your goal is to “maintain services at a high level” instead of asking yourself IF government should be doing it at all! You need to re-evaluate what people are doing, how much they are getting paid, and how many of they you have. Maintaining something isn’t hard choice, it’s a punt to next year.
Schmidgall: “We made some hard tough choices this year, there were things we’d have liked to have added that we were not able to add.”
So not being able to add spending to the budget is a “tough choice”….no no that frugal!
Joanne Clausen gave the army’s old saying: “We’re doing the best we can!”
Paula Pentel lamented the fact that Golden Valley doesn’t have a hockey rink, or a pool, or a community center and that’s evidence of how conservative they are. She also again cited the “survey” as evidence that the council is so great it’s amazing.
Pentel said she was “totally in favor of this budget.”
But in Golden Valley you always have Mayor Shep Harris to take the cake;
Harris: ” I weighed whether I was going to vote for or against this budget very heavily.”
Harris: “I’ve been in this job for two years now and I actually think I’m growing more fiscally conservative.”
Really? What about this budget is conservative? You’re adding employees, increasing spending, and increasing taxes.” How conservative does that sound?
Harris: “I feel like I ask the most questions during these budget sessions.”
Sorry Mr Mayor but like with “working hard” it’s your job to ask questions. There is no prize for doing that.
Harris: “The way I look at this budget is like a dose of cough syrup……cuz it tasted bad but it did good for you.”
Why is it then that we seem to take cough syrup every year? Harris then went on to praise the additional staff that was added.
Harris: We’ve got some innovations coming here….we used to have an extra housing maintenance inspector that went through the city one-third at a time and we cut that out during the economic recession, we feel it’s important for the vitality of our community to put that back in….that’s a pro I think in this budget.”
So it’s a pro in this budget to have a person run around the city, inspect people’s private property and hand out fees, fines, and code violations. Wow that’s great!
Harris: “I like, I call it the parks revival, five new playgrounds that are going to be coming out, those playgrounds are tired, their old, their dangerous for our children, and if we have to pay 2.9% more in our taxes for the safety of our kids, I believe it’s important.
Ah, do it for the children!!!! Harris should be hired by District 281 to help them on their upcoming referendum this year!
And guess what….the budget passed 5-0! They must be taking lessons from New Hope!