‘Tis the 2014 Budget Season in the Borough of Pottstown.
With an $83,000 shortfall it’s likely your property taxes are going to go up 1.01 % after the borough has dipped into their reserves to the tune of $164,000.00.
They didn’t drain the reserves and that is a good thing, raising taxes – eh – not so much. Travis Gery, representing the interests of his constituents in the 6th Ward last night at the C.O.W., noted that with the increase in school taxes and water/sewer rates – it may not seem like much but who does the fixed income property owner turn to for revenue?
Of course, we all know that ages old argument always falls on deaf ears…
Arguing for the solvency of the taxpayer looks nobel on the surface, it sorta gives you the warm fuzzies for a second or two, until you snap back to reality. The reality in 2013 is local gov’t has been…
“SPENDING MONEY LIKE EVERYDAY IS CHRISTMAS”
And they’ve been awfully generous to themselves with OPM (other people’s money) this year.
Make no mistake, it is your council representatives that gave the nod to the expenditures we’ve seen this year. Kicking it off with a cool $33,000 “analysis” of the codes department, a more than generous $20,000 increase in salary to the new borough manager, 23 iPads for members of borough council, the mayor, and members of the borough authority.
The Mercury reported, back in March, “each iPad cost $389 for a total of $9.960 with the cost of the covers, Borough Manager Mark Flanders reported”. The borough will pay $8000 a year for Novus Agenda to use with the iPads. In another recent post on this blog, sources said the iPads lay around, unused by most council people because they don’t know how to use them.
”Excuse me but, if you’re not going to learn how to use that iPad the taxpayers bought you earlier this year = GIVE IT BACK!! Surely there is more than one deserving taxpayer that could use it…”
Let’s see, let’s do a little quick math here:
$20,000 + $33,000 + $9.960.00 + $8,000 =
BEFORE the costs of outfitting the 3rd floor of borough hall with bullet proof windows, new cars for management, new rooms constructed for the finance department, did I mention new cars for management? Then there was also the creation of an assistant manager position and another salary along with all the other shifting around and promotions from within in 2013.
What council never wants to acknowledge:
LOCAL GOVERNMENT HAS A SPENDING ADDCITION.
It comes as no surprise that Janice Lee, head of the finance department, inserted the perennial, well rehearsed excuse for a tax increase:
Those pesky pesky union contracts.
My Guess? When all these questionable expenses tally up =
there would be no need to…
raise taxes OR dip into the reserve.
In my next post I’ll discuss - AGAIN – the hot pink patterned elephant in the council chambers that steams up the glass but council never seems to notice.
AND, in my next post … (just so you don’t confuse me with this notorious character):
I’ll bring you a sleigh full of goodies too. HO HO HO!!
For residents of Pottstown, who are often labeled apathetic, there’s a new sensibility taking hold…
The Citizens Action Committee for Pottstown took the opportunity to voice their concerns for the development of a Family Dollar store at the confluence of Hanover, 8th Sts. and Farmington Avenue in the 4th ward, Pottstown.
To the people of Pottstown that packed the meeting room:
FANTASTIC to see so many step up to attend and offer support to the speakers who represented the concerns of over 160 people who signed the petition to STOP Family Dollar.
Councilman, Joe Kirkland was re-elected for a 2nd term in ward 7 and he says he talked to people in the vicinity of the development, (after he learned there was community opposition). Joe claims 85% of them liked the idea. It’s curious that the councilmen in wards 3 & 4, (Dan Weand and Council Prez Steve Toroney), did not talk to their constituents themselves or make any effort to assure a democratic process from the moment they knew Family Dollar was interested. Well, anyway….nothing new about that.
It’s just a shame to see an official puffing out his chest to prove people wrong when his job is to represent them. We didn’t see a petition circulating in support of Family Dollar or anyone, besides Joe, that stood up to voice their support at council. The whole thing looks and feels contrived.
A nearby homeowner shares his observation of Joe’s <selective> interviews on facebook this morning:
“I live 100 feet from the location and Mr. Kirkland never came to my door or talked to me. I also asked my neighbors (who are also opposed) and they didn’t speak to him either. But then again, I did see he visited during the day, in which all of us working class people are actually at work. He must have talked to my section 8 neighbors who spend all day sitting on their porch.”
C.A.C. did their homework and addressed three areas of particular concern, after listening to what parents, crossing guards and homeowners in the 3rd & 4th wards had to say:
- High volume of existing traffic at the dangerous intersection, a designated “path to school”
- The Comprehensive Plan, the boroughs roadmap for growth and development, Family Dollar ISN’T a fit – it doesn’t call for dumbing down the population with more cheesy shopping options.
- Crime and Family Dollar Corps track record across the U.S. and in Pennsylvania – Fam D. says “not a problem”
- Family Dollars numerous Fair Labor Law violations, lowering the job expectations in Pottstown – just a cost of doing business for a mega corporation whose CEO, Howard Levine, has a net worth of $543.6 Million.
Democracy matters and isn’t carried out often in Pottstown. WE WANT you to be informed and involved in what matters most to you. Bring your thoughts, ideas and good energy to Citizens Action Committee for Pottstown, the ball IS rolling, are you ready to roll? email: email@example.com (link here)
Many thanks to CAC community members who took the videos and uploaded them to the net!!
Be sure to Sign Up as a subscriber and keep your finger on the pulse of local government in Pottstown:
YouTube: Citizens Action Committee for Pottstown