Monday, August 13, 2012

Strategic Plan Implementation

How Will This Council Apply The Findings?
To Justify Their Pre-exisitng Plans
Or To Modify Finances Going Forward?

The fiscal discipline I would suggest we should use now that we have a Strategic Plan for our city is to look at the findings the plan provides (assuming you accept it's usefulness) and set our priorities based on cost and the taxpayers ability to pay.

What do I mean? For example maintaining our aging infrastructure was identified as a priority in the plan, I can't imagine any citizen not agreeing we expect our government to provide water, sewer and roads before they provide more waterfront sidewalks.

Based on a study done by the city works department in 2010 we are likely not funding out water, sewer and roads properly, in fact we likely have an annual shortfall approaching $13 million or a 16% tax increase just to deal with water, sewer and roads.

If this council were to decide that we need to fund our water, sewer and roads properly, and if that decision means a 16% tax increase, perhaps that is all local taxpayers have the ability to pay. Therefore, spending on other items on different city departmental 'wish lists' needs to be set aside to the future when perhaps the taxpayer will have the ability to pay more.

That does not seem to be the approach the city is currently taking, as they recently announced applying for Federal funds to pay for some other items on the wish list. In other words they are already planning on spending funds which may not be available after setting our finances in accordance with taxpayers ability to pay for priorities identified on the strategic plan.

Just because the strategic plan says we need to dress up the walkway along the waterfront, does not mean we will be able to after we properly fund our water, sewer and roads.

The Strategic Plan needs to be used to establish spending priorities and meeting those needs based on taxpayer ability to pay, not based on the wish list of some city department manager.

There Is A Limit To Taxpayers Ability To Pay
A Fact Seemingly Lost On Council & Staff


1 comment:

  1. There's an idea you can only hope will catch on ... figure out how much the taxpayer can afford to pay and then tailor your spending accordingly.
    Any chance that might catch on with this city council??


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