By Robert Ventry
With election day fast approaching voters will have a chance to vote for change in this year’s city council race. Three seats are up for election. There’s a chance a new city council majority can be elected.
After four years of failed policies, has the time for change finally arrived? In the last four years not much as changed, most people feel things have gotten far worse then they ever have been. As residents we have to hope the next four years will be nothing like the last four.
Casino money is gone, blight lines our neighborhoods, neighborhood ordinances are not being enforced like they should be. Our city leaders had the perfect opportunity to rebuild our neighborhoods and fight neighborhood blight. Instead of doing things that were important like tearing down vacant houses or building community centers money was spent elsewhere. Now residents will have to look at these vacant houses for years to come.
There was a plan to reform the auction process, it didn’t seem to work out well. A lot of the houses we see that sit vacant were sold by the city at auctions. The plan was whoever purchased these homes had to have a plan to fix them up and bring them up to code. The majority of the homes sold still sit vacant, and the city still has to maintain them. Who has to pay for maintaining these properties you the the taxpayer.
This year residents and business owners will be facing a HUGE tax increase. Businesses face a 14% increase and home owners face a 2.6% increase. This could very well affect the consumer’s, businesses might have to pass the cost on to their customers making their products more expensive. This will also affect people who rent or own their homes, renters could possibly see a rent increase, while homeowners could see there mortgage go up.
Over the years the city increased parking fees at the parking ramp and parking lots downtown. Raised golf course fee’s, increased fee’s on building permits, installed parking meters but never once cut spending. Guess who has to pay for it the people. On top of that the threat of property reassessments looms in the minds of fearful taxpayers who fear their property taxes will skyrocket from a reassessment.
Has the time come to change course on the way things are done here. The time has come to make significant changes when it comes to policy governing our city, on election day you the people can make that happen by going out to vote and say no to the status quo.