Sunday, January 10, 2010

Getting Along Should Not Silence Speaking Out!

Civility should always be maintained in venues of communications with our fellow man. We can always get more done if we treat each other with respect and listen to what others have to say on the subject of the moment.

Last week's Highland Park News stated that our budget process and results were right on target and that more civility was needed in our budget process......... or something to that effect.

With all due respect, the functionality of our government, directed by our City Manager David Limardi, has a lot of room for improvement. In my opinion, where we ended up in December on the budget could have been attained six months earlier. To say trying to get a balanced budget was like pulling teeth is an understatement...... and still is!

Now I have been told we will not start our budget process until sometime in March. Let me remind everyone that we are still about 1.5 million in the hole for fiscal 2010. That is about $.75 million coming out of reserves and $.75 million of diminished spending for infrastructure.

While the last holdouts that voted against this past budget were Nancy Rotering and I, Scott Levenfeld held with us almost to the end. Others on the City Council had signed along with voting yes on the budget because the Mayor asked them. Maybe there were 2 or 3 Council members fully comfortable with the 2010 budget.

The Mayor, upon a simple request, moves legislation because of his enormous seemingly blind respect from a majority of the City Council. It is clear to me that nothing of prominence gets done on this City Council without his blessing. Again, this is said with all civility and respect.

We can make these very hard decisions and maintain civility. We can talk nicely to each other, disagree and discuss drastic government changes to balance the budget without being characterized as reckless or detrimental to our community that we all love.

Let's not hesitate to speak out on "constructive thoughts" of living within our means and maintaining a sustainable community for our residents. To do less can create hardships that can drive long time residents from our town and that is unacceptable to me. Civility and Sensibility must rule in 2010....