Friday, June 8, 2018

In wake of mill levy’s failure, it’s time for local officials to reevaluate


I think Sheriff Scott Hamilton has it right when he talks about why the emergency levy failed. But there is more to this issue. First, I have received tremendous response when I have called 911. Listening to the scanner, I know that most of the calls are family-abuse issues. Perhaps we need a family counselor rather than another police person. And the closing of the mental health center will increase the need. In cuts, I feel that senior citizens have already taken a majority of cuts under the direction of the two county commissioners who were once part of the city commission. Meals on Wheels and the Senior Center were cut all of their entitlements, $40,000 and a few years ago the city eliminated any help with accounting, etc., in-kind donations. Yet the county continues to hire new staff (non emergency) with large salaries. Our garbage and utility fees were raised all of the last 10 years under the direction of the former city manager. And under his direction, the roads and utilities were not replaced.

Every year the city has increased the salaries of the employees while most citizen wages have remained flat. More than 50 percent of our school students are on free or reduced lunch.

When homes are selling at higher prices, our taxes go up. Renters have their rent increased to cover the cost. And all of us are wondering what happened to tax money raised from the overpass and the railroad settlement.

I think that the new city manager is going in the right direction. I never thought I would see work done on Main Street. But it is important for the city manager and all of the commissioners to realize that the citizens have a lot of history on the empty promises of the former manager and some of the present commissioners.

Perhaps it is time for some of them to take the cuts. I have attended many, many finance meetings where everything was decided before any citizen input. It is time for a change and some new ways of looking at the same issues. Count me in.

Nancy Adkins