Analyzing Mark Hoffman’s Answers in The Sun Post
By Andrew Richter
Reading what Crystal Councilman Mark Hoffman wrote in the Sun Post on why he should be re-elected was perhaps more revealing than he realized. Let me offer my All-Star analysis;
Here’s a question posed to Hoffman:
What do you consider the top issues that the Crystal City Council should address?
Hoffman: I see the budget as the largest, most important and all encompassing issue that the city of Crystal must address at any time. As a fully developed community we do not have large areas of opportunity to increase tax base except through redevelopment which usually has a short term cost. I have always believed and practiced that we must strive to improve, and at least maintain, our core services: public safety, utilities and recreation without putting undue tax or spending increases on our taxpayers.
OK let me translate that; We’re going to do the same thing we always do; give everyone a raise, trim a bit around the edges, and throw a small tax increase on the taxpayer. Nothing new here, same old thing.
What measures would you propose to address those issues?
Hoffman: I would first continue with my proven experience and leadership in building a fiscally sound and prudent budget that meets the values our residents expect and deserve. Over the last four years, the city has benefited from strong control of revenue and expenses, resulting in under a $13 annual tax increase for the average taxpayer.
So expect more tax increases if Hoffman is re-elected.
Hoffman: Through years of reduced state aid and holding taxes tighter, most of the reductions have already been made, which have, in most areas, put us at minimal levels.
Minimal levels? So, in other words, there’s nothing we can do. Do you hear anything new here? We can’t cut anything!
Hoffman: I look for smaller cuts and ways to increase revenue through non-property tax increases. A thorough review of services offered and cost of service must be watched and adjusted as needed to have the beneficiary pay the fair value.
Here’s another revealing quote; non-property tax increases. My money is my money. What difference does it make if it is collected by another form of government or by another method? Tax dollars are tax dollars.
Hoffman: I have never felt it is wrong to receive money from another government entity or business to help reduce our General Fund expenses.
So if the “free money” is there then spend it. If someone gives you someone else’s money, blow it! No spending restraint at all.
Check out this;
Hoffman: Another example is last year we received funding for solar panels with grants from government and private sources for the Community Center, which is projected to save 10 percent of our electric costs for that building. Our contribution for the purchase and installation is the 10 percent savings on electricity for the first six years. A no-cost venture that should feel good for all taxpayers.
Hoffman leaves a few things out here to say the least. The total cost for this is over $1 million paid for by taxpayers and customers of Xcel Energy which of course is all of us! The city finance director presented evidence that this will be a financial loser over a forty year span but Hoffman claims it will “save us 10%.” I’ve seen no evidence this is true. And the idea this is a no-cost venture is a complete and total lie. Come on here! Since when are solar panels free?
Go back to the council meeting in June 2013. At that meeting Hoffman admitted that he “didn’t know if this would save us money or not” but the project “felt good” to do. Now he claims it’s a no-cost venture. Unreal!
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I have no personal animosity towards Mark Hoffman (I don’t think he feels the same about me but so what) however, he is a walking example of what is wrong with local government and people who serve in the same position forever. He offers nothing but the same old stuff. If he had a new idea we would have heard it 10 years ago. What’s needed here are fresh sets of eyes, not the same old people.