Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Magic Budget

Budget likely to sail to passage -QCTimes

This article really makes it seem like happy times at City Hall, and I'm sure the Aldermen elected last year are feeling pretty good. They can claim victory because taxes aren't going up, and no staff positions are being cut. Remember that bad stuff last year? Not this year! Its like magic...

Or, its due to the sacrifices of the previous council, especially those who fought for the stormwater fee and were defeated in the election. If you think our crime problem is bad, think how it would have been if the council had caved to the anti-fee folks and cut public safety last year? Think how much trouble we'd be having adding cops this year without the million bucks from the stormwater revenue.

Its not like the new folks came in and stopped all this crazy downtown spending. The 08 budget includes money for Centennial Park, the Freight House, and Prairie Heights.

Its kind of ironic that Hamerlinck and Company's failure to eliminate the stormwater fee has actually made their jobs much easier this year.

23 Comments:

At 3/06/2007 8:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said QCI !!!

 
At 3/06/2007 8:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He / they tried to eliminate it because it was unfair you twit!

 
At 3/06/2007 8:57 AM, Anonymous Joe American said...

The only twit I know is Hamerlinck. He is and will always be a bobblehead. Makes suggestions without much thought or homework, then back peddles when people get upset, then publicly opposes the same suggestion, ie. Pedcor. This guy takes his ques from Bill Lynn. How sad.

 
At 3/06/2007 8:58 AM, Anonymous Joe American said...

By the way, well said there QCI

 
At 3/06/2007 9:19 AM, Anonymous Martha said...

QCI - I believe that your youth is showing and could not disagree with you more regarding the storm water fee.
Having been a taxpayer for almost 30 years I was adamently against the storm water fee. My taxes should be paying for police, fire and public works such as street repair, snow removal, garbage, storm water, etc. This fee is nothing more then a tax along with the garbage fee and sewer fee. There was a time that all of these services were included in my property taxes. What is hard to swallow are new fees (taxes), increases in fees (taxes), and receiving less services for the taxes I am paying. The storm water tax was added to off set shortages within the city budget. If you read the fine print this was not a mandatory fee. In Davenport the Fire Department was already doing much of the work required my managing the storm water runoff. It was estimated that it would cost about $200k a year to maintain, and yet it is raising over $1,000,000 a year. My property taxes go up because the asessment continues to go up. I am tired of seeing money spend downtown and my neighborhood suffering. I have tried to work with city officials to get projects done in my neighborhood and ward only to be told that there is no money in the budget. Yet, there is money for the Freight House, Prairie Heights and Centennial Park. What about the taxpayer in the rest of Davenport? I will continue to pursue improving my neighborhood and ward. It makes it very hard to support a downtown which is a small part of Davenport when your area is left behind.

 
At 3/06/2007 9:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice one QCI.

 
At 3/06/2007 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Martha,

We can assume you cheerily would have ponied up more in property tax to address Davenport's crumbling stormwater sewer system, despite the fact large chunks of landowners would effectively be exempt from paying for it?

Somehow I doubt it.

The reason cities have to come up with creative new fees is because of the head-in-the-sand mentality of so many people that DEMAND first-rate city services while paying the same tax levy they did in 1975.

 
At 3/06/2007 10:29 AM, Anonymous Martha said...

To 10:17
You miss my point. Fees and taxes continue to increase with showing very few results. I am tired of seeing the continous improvements downtown while our older neighborhoods crumble. If my area received first rate or even second rate service I could live with that, but that is not what is happening.

 
At 3/06/2007 10:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So who built the new, state-of-the-art sewage treatment plant?

The sewer fairies?

It is expensive to rebuild 100-year-old plus sewer systems. It's either raise property taxes or create a utility fee.

I prefer the utility fee because it spreads the pain out further, and makes more people pay their fair share.

 
At 3/06/2007 12:15 PM, Blogger Snarky Chick said...

I prefer getting hosed by taxes if they are going to raise anything. At least I can deduct that on my federal income tax.

 
At 3/06/2007 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been wondering about you Joe American. Just the way you talk about something. Go ahead and fess up ... you're really Don Stevens aren't you?

 
At 3/06/2007 12:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought Joe American was Wally

 
At 3/06/2007 1:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I am tired of seeing the continous improvements downtown while our older neighborhoods crumble."

To Martha:
What the heck are you talking about? Where is the "crumbling"? If you mean the old houses, how about the owners fixng them? I don't want MY TAXES/FEES paying to fix up your junky house.

By the way, I have been paying taxes for +35 years here in Davenport and I know you can't keep getting the same (and better) services and keep paying the 1970 prices!

 
At 3/06/2007 2:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sewer fairies....that's funny.

 
At 3/06/2007 2:31 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Martha, you must not have been a blog-reader back during the stormwater fee debate.

I fully admitted that it was a budget-fixing fee, and wished they had just come out and said that instead of all this mandatory stormwater stuff. What you said about the $200k vs $1M costs is accurate. So, except for the tax deduction issue Snarky brings up, its really six of one half a dozen of the other between the fee and just a regular tax increase.

You act like the city should be able to maintain the status quo on the same amount of money. Are you able to do that? Gas costs more, insurance costs WAY more, and as all of our infrastructure gets even older that costs more also. The city will keep dividing rising costs among the same number of taxpayers unless we can grow the city. One way to do this is bring in the kind of cultural amenities that attract young college grads like myself. People may not agree, but Davenport is a much more attractive city to move to after River Renaissance than it was before.

I think this budget proves that Davenport is on the right track, despite the occasional circus at City Hall.

 
At 3/06/2007 2:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the materials produced by the Storm Water Study group, which included several members of D-One identified over $1.5 million in operating costs to meet the basic requirments of the permit. They identified over $17 million in stormwater projects which are now funded by property taxes per last year Council action. If you have evidence that it is only $200K why wasn't that shared with the study group. Even the most vehement opponents don't dispute the study groups work.

 
At 3/06/2007 3:41 PM, Anonymous Joe American said...

To 12:45 and 12:58:

Sorry to burst your bubble, I am neither. But thanks for the compliments. These fine folks, wether you like it or not, have gotten off their stool and spoke up. It takes courage to do what they're doing and I will not bash them for it. They are not for pay nor giving in to special interest groups, they are involved for the betterment of the community.

 
At 3/06/2007 7:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have yet to hear one intelligent idea issue from Don Steven's mouth.

 
At 3/07/2007 6:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe, if Wally and Don are your flag bearers, then I see where you are coming from. ...The Twilight Zone.

 
At 3/07/2007 9:37 AM, Anonymous Joe American said...

I don't think you get it. Everyone has their right to an opinion. Be it right or wrong, at least they have the guts to stand up and be heard. I have to give them props for that.

 
At 3/07/2007 2:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, so does Charly Manson. He gets on the tube and speaks his mind from jail whenever the cameras let him. So those are your idols?

 
At 3/07/2007 4:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Lynn, Van Fossen, Hamerlinck and Ambrose are exempt? Think again Dan.

 
At 3/09/2007 8:49 AM, Anonymous joe american said...

Well said 4:20. When it all boils down, we all have the right to freedom of speech. I can't think of anyone who is wrong for standing up of what he/she believes in as long as it is for the benefit of the community. If they want to speak, let them do so, smile and bare it.

 

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