Why was budget ignored for so long?

Everett, you are not paying attention. The city budget is a mess. The forecast is a $12 million shortfall and that is just in 2015. This means higher taxes, fees, utility rates, cable rates, etc. Huge utility tax increases are on the city council agenda for June 4; this is in addition to rate increases that are going to be implemented for the sewer system upgrade.

The expenses of the city needs to be addressed. If our taxes are increased, we will lose the opportunity for the expense side of the city’s budget to be examined. This includes re-evaluating health insurance and how much employees contribute, reorganizing departments to make them more efficient, and eliminating some services. In your workplace all of this has happened most likely and this is a “no brainer” solution to shortfalls. These steps are not being looked at by the city council and the mayor.

Extra taxes and fees should be the last measure our city takes. The city needs to tighten its budget and start with looking within its departments to see where they can cut back and economize, just like all of us have had to do.

It has been said at numerous city council meetings that the mayor wishes he could raise our property taxes over 1 percent, but an initiative, which many of us voted for, keeps this from happening. I am one who is very happy that the city cannot just raise our property taxes.

This budget should have been a concern long before 2014. I would like to know why this was ignored and not addressed when we had enough money. Please attend the budget meeting at 5:30 p.m. today at EvCC, Jackson Conference Center. If you are late, come anyway!

Shelley Weyer