Thursday, January 19, 2006

How are you going to PAY for it???

Stormwater fee repeal gets 1st OK

Someone just tell me where the money's coming from. The new council makes it seem like this is easy as pie, but the way I figure it there's 2+ million bucks that are going to be missing from the budget.

I may be just a young fool, as many people say, but it seems to me that this will either require cuts or additional sources of income. I'm not sure what happens if a council votes to run a deficit, which is illegal, but I assume it would mean the state wouldn't certify the budget.

So come on Keith, Shawn, or Bill... let us in on how this is going to work. Keeping in mind that some of you have said that public safety won't be cut.


Anonymous said...

the paper said it was a 6 to 4 vote, but didn't break it down. Anyone know who was the 6th vote?

East Ender said...

I agree with you 100% on this one. I see no reason why the storm water fee could not have been discussed in conjunction with the new budget. If the budget can be balanced without the fee then fine go ahead and repeal it. If the budget cannot be balanced without the fee or increasing taxes then leave the fee alone. One way or another we have to find the money to run this city.

If we do have to terminate employees and cut services to balance the budget the little old ladies and other malcontents will be down at city hall bitching about that. It's a no win situation as I see it.

Anonymous said...

voting against repeal:

Anonymous said...

We could tax people like QCI who are living in structures that don't pay taxes.

QuadCityImages said...

I have an idea that would do just that, that I'll be posting in the next couple days.

Anonymous said...

At the end of the day, City Staff will do exactly what the majority of elected decide.
But watch the process. The new guys will accuss the staff of not producing the real fat to be cut.
They will blame staff, have a little fit and decided to push the problem off for another day.

Anonymous said...

We'll pay for it either way they vote. If the fee stays where it is at most retailers will their price for goods to offset the expense. That means we, the consumer, will be hit again with higher prices for goods and services rendered.
If indeed this rain water run off problem can be dealt with for $200,000 as Alderman Lynn suggests, let's hear him out.

Anonymous said...

WHAT SERVICE CUTS?? The fee was to pay for some nebulous mandate from the state on clean H2O…Then citizens pointed out that lie…now it’s blamed on the Feds…come on! Lynn is right; all need to do is MONITOR our water quality…that’s it! I could do it for less than$200K Why would there be service cuts if this was to fund this program??? Wait it was a scam…to fund Dee’s budget…a great place to start those so called “service cuts.” Hmmm? The four that voted against the repeal are the ones out of touch. Also, isn’t the so called $2 million only about 1% of the budget…if they can’t find 2% of waste to cut we are in trouble!

QuadCityImages said...

I would hope we all know by now that the stormwater fee was really the "balance the budget in the face of rising healthcare costs" fee. I don't know why people can't understand that it costs more this year to have the same services that we did a few years ago. This is why we need to increase tax base so badly. Staying the same means falling behind.

It was dishonest of the former council not to come out and say what the $2.2 mil was really for, but I still don't see the new council coming out and saying how they'll fix the problem.

Anonymous said...

You really don’t have a financial background do you? Of course there is a small amount of inflation in Government purchases including health care. However, the city collects MORE money each year…even with the roll back! The fee was to go to more government spending, not increased costs. They are growing the government budget…not the Davenport economy (or tax base in your case). Government budget increases crowd out private investment in growing the Davenport economy. That is the problem here in our fair city. Higher taxes, fees, etc. are a death spiral. The People don’t want more services…as you say… they are breaking the bank, and our collective pocketbooks!

Anonymous said...

This whole premise is ridiculous! The City lied about the stormwater fee, and the money has gone into a few areas that it should not have gone into. We need to straighten that out. And can we cut City government? HELL YES!!!

Winborn never committed one way or the other on stormwater. That last comment was offensive by the way; I know many homeowners who fit the "pig mold" and several tenants who could have their homes featured in house beautiful. Bottom line: pigs are pigs, be they tenants or homeowners. They need to clean up their act. And, all of that has absolutely nothing to do with stormwater fees.

We need to start cutting many of the multiple layers of fat in City Government such as:

We need to start selling off the River Center, selling off land we are still holding for outrageously large parks in Prairie Heights, and finally selling off the expensive commercial real estate in Prairie Heights. By doing so, we eliminate debt we are paying on (which is just like extra income) as well as generating a tax base (which is yet more extra income).

We need to cut the fat from the bloated City attorney's office and subcontract the work out.

We pay the director of parking garages more than $60,000.00 per year, do we really need to pay that much?

Then there is the ineffective abandoned house lady who makes $50,000.00 per year. How many homes have actually been renovated? It has been a year now.

Then there is the manager of risk (Mike Farris). He makes $63,000.00 per year, but there are still tons of lawsuits. Lets get rid of him.

The housing inspection department is over funded and ineffective. There are more of those guys on the street during the day then there are police. How about cutting that?

The health care plan for City employees is ridiculous; they should have normal deductibles just like you and I.

There are too many employees in the forestry department, and they are full time even though they don't do much this time of year.

The problem with the City is they never cut anything; they just keep on adding debt. Time to follow the lead of Alderman Hamerlinck and cut the fat!

Anonymous said...

I would agree with you that it has become clear that the public was lied to about the storm water fee, which was really a way to shift fund shortages, in other areas of the city budjet, to the utility. This is a terrible tax that hurts churches and other non-profits as well as businesses, and the large percentage of people in this community who struggle to make ends meet.
I would also agree that selling some of the Prairie Heights for commercial development needs to happen. I believe that has been the plan from the get go.
I disagree that the land designated for a park should be sold. We don't have many opportunities to develope a new park in this city. Rather we like it or not this is an area of town that has been heavily developed with family housing and there is a need for a recreational area for those families.
There have been many positive things happening in this city in the last few years. Especially in the downtown areas and in the central city neighborhoods.
Do we have a long way to go yet? Most certainly! But, this is not the time to be short sited and forget that we are building a Davenport for future generations.
I think the city is finally looking at the downtown and the central city as an important piece of our future, please don't the negative people who are against anything new have the last word.

Anonymous said...

Here's a thought for the some of the storm water critics that seem to be against all taxes at all costs. Maybe you should move to the country dig your own latrine, maintain your own roads, protect your own environment, police your own property, regulate a medium of exchange for your trade, and most importantly protect your right to bitch and find ways of escaping your duty as a citizen. Or would you rather just try to continue to be the bottom feeder you already are.

Anonymous said...

Calling people who are for responsible City spending "bottom feeders" is uncalled for.

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous bottom feeder at 2:16 am:

The storm water fee was NOT supposed to pay for...

1. Sewer repairs.

2. maintenance of roads

3. police

4. regulation of a medium of exchange for a trade (whatever the hell that means).

5. protecting your right to bitch.

Cut it! Get rid of it and look to the numerous other cuts that have already been suggested in this post to MORE than pay for it.
Regarding the park in Prairie Heights... It is way too large, and the proposal being discussed is not to get rid of it but rather to cut it down to size. My own opinion? There are more than enough parks in the Quad Cities already, but that is just my opinion and it is irrelevant, because the proposal is to cut it down to size.