The city council gave each other praise
Before voting themselves a nice raise
The taxpayers got
What they paid for – NOT!
Therein the big problem lays.
We haven’t seen a lot in the legacy media, but Tuesday’s council session was sort of like a lottery jackpot for some–at the expense of most.
Not only did the City Council grant itself 17% raises, they gave the mayor a similar bump and managed to come up with previously negotiated one time 2.5% bonuses for the COPPERS and FIREFIGHTERS, just in time for Christmas. Then for good measure they granted themselves monthly “expenses” of $150 to cover use of personal cell phones and cars within the city.
Price for pooping also went up about 70 cents a month with sewer fee increases. Doesn’t sound like much, but “incremental increases” are easier to slip into a bill than ask voter approval for a one time bond to remove phosphorus from the effluent. No one complains about 70 cents.
Apparently the tough financial times many residents are experiencing is lost on the Council. Boise increased the 2012 tax LEVY by 6.5% over 2011. Meanwhile property VALUES declined by about 2%. This results in a significantly higher tax as a percentage of property value.
Market value for Boise property was $23.7 billion in 2008 compared to $17.15 billion in the current 2012 assessment. Each year the Boise Councilors increase the budget at or near the maximum allowed 3%. Anybody see these figures in the list of “best cities to locate your business?”
The following note arrived from ACHD Commission Chairman Rebecca Arnold moments after the above was posted:
(“I thought you might find the email below interesting as it expresses an opinion different than that held by the Boise City council. Although I specifically requested that the email be read at yesterday’s meeting, the city council refused to do so. Obviously they did not want anything on their meeting tape to alert anyone that there is opposition to their actions. A 20% increase in the Mayor’s salary is unprecedented and unwarranted – I hope the media does not allow the City to quietly get away with this. In my opinion, the Mayor’s current salary is probably too much for the service he actually performs”).
Mayor and Council Members:
I realize that providing input to this body represents an exercise in futility as you seem to do whatever you want anyway. However, please read this email into the record at today’s Boise City Council meeting. I am a Boise resident and have been for more than 25 years. I do not recall ever having a council in place that has consistently raised taxes and fees as this one has. You have raised property taxes every year despite the recession (although you did, interestingly, only raise the property taxes half of the allowable amount during the last council election year) and it seems you have never seen a fee that you felt didn’t need to be increased. Enough is enough!!
I am opposed to any increases in the sewer fees or any other Boise City fees. Boise residents just cannot afford any more increases. ACHD has kept the amount of property taxes that goes to ACHD at the same level for the last 4 years and we recently decreased impact fees. Perhaps you might consider following that example and try tightening your belts instead of continually raising taxes and fees (eliminating the out-of-state boondoggle trips would be a good place to start!).
I am also adamantly opposed to raising the salaries of the Mayor and Council. Absolutely ridiculous! I am well aware of the jobs that you perform and my opinion is that you are already compensated fairly for the work that you do. You were all well aware of the salaries when you ran for office and if you are not happy with the salaries, please resign and go back to work in the private sector. Approving a 20% increase for yourselves would be an exhibition of unprecedented arrogance.
I also question placing these items on the agenda for a day meeting when probably most of your constituents would be unable to attend. A night meeting would have been more appropriate to afford the public an opportunity to provide input.
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