Thursday, May 29, 2008

No August Special Election, Moral Claims Denied

Last night during Strategic Planning, the Triad Research Group reviewed the results of the recent telephone survey, which mainly focused on the residents' willingness to support an income tax increase or renewal. I will post the full survey results under the Documents section. The residents are overwhelmingly dissatisfied with the condition of our streets and a majority are not satisfied with the direction of the City. This survey will provide food for thought as Council considers its spending priorities for the rest of the year and considers changes for next year's budget. It will also impact the ability to pass a renewal or tax increase in the fall.

Council decided not to pursue a special election in August for the renewal or increase and will consider what amount of income tax to place on the November ballot (.5% renewal or .75% increase). Mr. Tanner and myself put a motion on the floor to put the renewal on the ballot, rejecting the idea of putting a .75% tax increase to the voters, but we agreed to remove the motion when Mr. Lotko requested more time to review the survey and consider both alternatives.

At last night's Finance Committee meeting, the committee voted to reject all moral claims associated with SR 57 potholes. The matter of creating a new IT Director and Assistant Director was tabled for the second time with no discussion.

The Finance Committee approved funds for the Street Department to purchase a new paint truck, which will allow the City to paint lines on the road using a water-based paint instead of the old oil-based paint. We will be able to keep the old truck and still receive insurance proceeds for the damage caused to it during a traffic accident, although the old truck can no longer be used to paint lines but will be handy as a flatbed staged for emergent street repairs.


Anonymous said...

What a kick in the teeth for all of us who had claims for damage on Rt. 57. Let's see now just how the rest of the city responds when they try to pass any tax renewal or increase on us. This is a perfect example of how we have been looked at as residents. Clearly, some council members are not in touch with reality and real needs of everday hard working people. I am appalled at the outcome. I have lived in this town all my life and am in shock as to how I am being dissed as a taxpaying citizen. I will move before this city gets anymore of my hard earned money!

Joe said...

Mark what is your opinion on the claims, would you vote to pay them all, pay them in part or not at all?

Mark F. Craig said...

I supported cutting off the claims so that no more were submitted, then eliminating claims submitted without documentation. I would have supported payment of the remaining claims, had it come out of the Finance Committee. Stewart, Tanner and Bullocks never supported payment of the moral claims and I do not think that anything would have caused them to change their minds. I spoke with both Tanner and Stewart about it and they were both pretty set with their decision.

It seems that the administration was willing to find $35,000 to pay for a special election in August. According to calculations by Mr. Gibbs, we would probably have paid just under $10,000 for the claims and it would have made a tremendous statement that the City takes responsibility for the condition of its roads and is willing to assist its residents. It also would have avoided the filing of litigation, which now is a real possibility and may cost the City much more than $10,000 to defend the case, even if there is no liability found.

Now that we have decided not to proceed with a special election, it would be nice to see the $35,000 that could have been found by the administration now be applied towards street repairs. We need to make some visible progress on street repairs.

julie6447051 said...

Mark you are the only council member that has a website--unbelievable! Thank you so much for your support on the Route 57 issue. I will spread the word to as many people that I know that you are truly a public servant, and you represent your ward well. Thanks again!