Ahhh, meeting of the minds. Tax caps, budgets, health insurance . . . intellectual stimulation at its finest. I would just like to make a couple of observations from watching the meeting on PAC14 last night. Note: I have not seen the budget, I am going by heresay. I think the Mayor's article in the paper yesterday sums up my first point anyway.
The mayor seems to have taken an attitude similar to Georgie Bush in that, there is only one way to fix the mess, my way. Anything else will be aborted with veracity. Even if it has proven disastrous in the past (high turnover from officers who actually want to support their families resulting in young, inexperienced officers). She would like us to believe there are no other options than the ones she has presented. With all the ideas the citizens of Salisbury presented last night, I think I may be a bit embarrassed after taking such a hard line in the paper if I was the mayor.
Paying the police officers: if I am not mistaken, she said without her tax increase they would even lose their cost of living increase. That is just sad. Why would a person want to put families through that? Wouldn't that in itself be worth the effort to find a way to get them their pay increase? Apparently not.
If one can't pay the people under your employ reasonable salaries, why make more jobs? If you can't afford what you have, don't go and buy more.
Tax cap. A cap on the allowable tax rate for an individual in the city. Why did the city make a cap if they were going to rescind it? Isn't that kind of the point? This is as high as you can go, and if you need more, you make cuts or find more revenue.
Sometimes we can't afford everything we want. It is just the way it is. Hopefully, as Mr. Ireton stated last night, this isn't said and done. Hopefully, the people elected will serve the city, put some effort into a reasonable budget and make some hard line cuts to keep the tax rate under the cap.
I have no idea why the city would even entertain furnishing health insurance to a non-city employee. It seems really dicey to me. Urban Salisbury, as a separate entity, should be fully responsible for the director's health insurance. Even having him purchase a plan a reimbursing him a portion if it would be better than the liability of insuring a non-employee. I really don't get that one.