First, let me apologize for not being able to attend these meetings. I have taken a new role with my company and this role requires travel throughout Texas and Louisiana. I enjoy the new role, but it has and will require to miss meetings. I will attend via phone whenever possible.
I’ll start by saying I am not in favor of a tax increase of any kind. Folks are hurting, gas is still high and inching higher again. Food is through the roof many believe will only get worse. Now is not the time to raise taxes and increase city services without providing newer or improved services. It has been a long time since I have heard and read the rumblings about our city like I am seeing now. Anything from lack of visibility of our PD or the city turning into an eyesore. To be honest, I wonder the same thing at times. I know we, as a city, has had a tough time with hiring and retention and I hope things are getting better in that respect, but taxing and increasing the citizens of Shoreacres at this time, I believe is wrong.
I believe we have published a 1000k.8% proposed tax increase, which is the highest allowable without a vote. I wish we would put that on the reader board outside of city hall. I know for a fact; a lot of citizens do not know this. I wish folks would show up and take an interest in what’s going on. Here are a few of my concerns:
1. Every budget proposal I have seen seem to show the 10.8% increase in Tax Revenue.
2. Revenues such as Water, up over 25%, Sewer up 48% and refuse up over 80%. These in both draft 2. These are serious increases in revenues.
3. Is the $36k in refuse collection for cleanup green up?
4. In the General fund, 6110=10 Wages, for QuickBooks employee? I thought that’s why we hired Bernie. To split the time between Karen and Bernie to allow both to focus and their tasks. It was a cost savings then, correct?
5. I also see that on line 6130-30 that we are projecting coming in under budget by $100k. I Don’t get it.
6. On line 6369-50, What is Outside services for $60K?
I was at the Galveston Yacht basin one afternoon and saw this world class fishing boat. I mentioned to my friend, “Good Lord, I wonder how much it costs to put gas in that thing?”. He looked at me and said, “if you gotta ask that question, you can’t afford that boat?”. Truer words were never spoken. I’ve heard the word “crisis” and “scary times” and I have heard the city is broke. We can’t make it even harder and higher to live here. Maybe we can’t afford the boat. I am sorry if these things were already discussed, I just need some clarification and to express my thoughts on no increases.