At the last city council work session, current mayor Jim Adams supported an 8.0003 percent tax hike for 2017. He is the mayor of broken promises. This is the highest tax increase in the history of the Crystal. Additionally, he raised the water/sewer utility rates by 20 percent because he moved the money targeted for the water main repair into his new Public Works Building. He tells you he is saving a million dollars because he refused to bond for the new public works building, but it also means the highest tax increase in the last 50 years. Please Mr. Adams, tell me how this is saving anything?
The highest tax increase during my time as Crystal’s mayor was 3.5 percent and that was in 2009 – 2010. The markets had collapsed and property values tanked. During those two years’ staff did not receive pay increases and they have never caught up with the 4 percent they lost during those years. It is insulting to me the tax payer that this current council has the nerve to ask for 8.0003 percent tax hike. It is a totally unnecessary hike if they money were well managed and proves that Mayor Adams version of voodoo economics is a dismal failure for Crystal.
Mr. Adams has proven that he does not know how to manage municipal money. There should not have been much of an increase for 2017 because markets are strong and property values are up. What has he done with the money? Here is an example of a couple of his wasteful spending items., he spent:
Upwards of $100,000 for a new communication director, yet, there is less communication to the general public than ever before. (Salary: $77,619 plus benefits such as, sick time, vacation time, PERA pension payments, health insurance, life insurance. Other associated, one-time costs to on-board a new employee.)
$90,000 in legal fees (was budgeted for 2016 – 2017*) to move periods and semi-colons around in the code book. When I was mayor, we knew we had obsolete codes, but if they are not posing a problem, why spend the money? During my time in office, if there was a problem with a code, we fixed it, if not, the code book was left alone. I don’t believe in spending money on things that do not improve or sustain the good life in Crystal. This was an empty attempt to look like work was being conducted.
He spent almost a quarter-million dollars for what? There is zero return on investment in these expenditures. I will return accountable financial practices when elected to prevent wasteful spending.
*To date, almost $30,000 has been spent on this project.