To the Editor:
I was sincerely disappointed to read in the Lebanon daily newspaper the bold quote by my Ward 6 Councilor Kathy Warmath, “We’re down to the nitty-gritty…I’m voting against the whole friggin’ thing.” Not only is this unprofessional, but does not represent the attitude or leadership we expect of our elected officials.
This lack of intellectual problem solving to meet the strategic needs of a city that is growing and needs to stay competitive to attract new businesses and homeowners demonstrates a lack of strategic and fiscal accountability. Every citizen gains by creating and keeping a competitive city to potential businesses and homeowners through new tax revenue and strong property values.
There were a lot of “I won’t support” quotes, but I didn’t read any “let’s examine how our property taxes compare to surrounding cities and municipalities” or “what do our neighboring cities charge for sanitation fees,” “what do other fiscally healthy cities keep in reserve as a percent of their total budgets,” or “how do our city departments expense budgets compare to like size cities and/or age of infrastructure, etc.”
Instead we read about postponing decisions and drawing down reserves or diversion topics such as city employees driving vehicles, neither of which gets at the strategic needs of the city of Lebanon.
Mayor Philip Craighead understands the strategic issues and needs the council members to take the time and initiative to quickly get up to speed so they can be the partners in problem solving we expect of all of our elected council members, rather than roadblocks to getting a budget approved.