All of you elected officials that read the blog (and I know that you do), better start paying attention. The Citizens have had enough, and I’m not the only one complaining. When every single Letter to the Editor has the same theme, you are in trouble.
Tea Parties may be at your door step before long.
From the Keller Citizen today:
Letters to the editor
Hold the line on taxes, spending
The city of Keller’s organizational chart lists citizens at the top, and I commend City Manager Dan O’Leary for honoring that when proposing a budget that included cutbacks in wages and some services as Keller and all of its citizens find ourselves in the midst of one of the worst recessions in American history. I hope this budget is approved this month as proposed, and we, the citizens, have no surprise tax increases beyond what was previously approved prior to this recession.
As for the Keller school district, I applaud them for spinning their deficit issues as they have. Out of one side of their heads they give raises, and out of the other side they call for a tax increase on property owners for the 2010-11 fiscal year. They cite a windfall of $750,000 to help balance the current budget, and then they award contracts for $950,000 for hot dog stands at Timber Creek High School.
I hope the citizens of Keller are incapable of voting themselves a tax increase in November 2010 as proposed by the district. Soon citizens in this town will be paying close to $3 per $100 of assessed value in city and school taxes. Does anyone realize this, or does everyone just compare our tax rates to other cities’ and think it’snot so bad?
Mark E. Wylie, Keller
Forgo raises to help prevent tax hike
As a Keller homeowner and taxpayer, it’s frustrating to see that Keller school officials think the district and its employees are somehow magically immune to economic hard times. (See last week’s article “KISD gives raises to all employees.”) The district was facing a deficit, but trustee Lara Lee Hogg said she doesn’t know how she could give raises to just some employees. Managers and business owners in the real world do evaluate employees and make hard decisions.
The “change of heart” by Hogg and the rest of the school board sounds like a “feel good,” emotional decision instead of an economic one. It’s easy to feel good by spending other people’s tax dollars.
I’ve never gotten involved in local politics, but it sounds like we need a change in leadership. Bring in some leaders and elected officials who can operate in the real world instead of a dream land where everybody is entitled to a raise just for being there. (Even if the raises are from federal stimulus funds, those are still our tax dollars.) You want to raise property taxes once again, but you won’t first do everything you can to control expenses? Get real.
Hogg says they will resort to layoffs if additional tax increases aren’t approved, but that seems unlikely. How will they stand to fire just some employees and not others?
Mark Graban, Keller
Don’t pass the buck
A more precise headline for last week’s article “KISD gives raises to all employees” would have been “Taxpayers robbed (again) to pay for feel-good KISD raises all ’round.’” It would have honestly informed readers how thatbloated bureaucracy makes its economic decisions and acknowledged just whose dime pays for such misguidedness. There’s no surprise at the district’s misleading self-congratulations and blame shifting.
They offer self-congratulations by saying a $750,000 disaster-inspired release from future responsibility is a “savings” related to roof work at Timber Creek High School and they worked six weeks to cut 4 percent from a budget that’s still 4 percent bigger than last year. That tells this year’s was at least 8 percent too big to start.
They shift blame by saying a projected shortfall in a future bloated budget is the big problem, not today’s irresponsible expenditures. And of course there’s “woe” from a 3-year-old state “formula” which doesn’t account for today’s “rising costs.” It also doesn’t account for today’s unemployed taxpayers and stressed local businesses.
Patrice Stanton, Keller
City jobs shouldn’t be immune
Most of my friends tell me that they have seen their compensation decline by a quarter or more within the last year. Surprisingly, they are generally upbeat and are just happy to have a job. They realize that by definition, a recession involves declining wages. Yet government workers in Keller are apparently exempt from any sacrifice and their wages should only go up. (See the Aug. 26 article “Officials consider swapping salaries, roads on cut list.”)
We are told we have to give our Keller government workers a raise because Southlake gave its workers a raise. The citizens of Southlake were told they had to give their workers a raise because Grapevine gave its workers a raise. No doubt, the citizens of Grapevine were told they had to give a raise because the year before, Keller gave its workers a raise. Round and round the circular logic goes.
I say it’s time to reverse the spin. Maybe this year, if Keller doesn’t give a raise, then Southlake won’t feel compelled to give a raise. Perhaps if Southlake doesn’t give a raise, then Grapevine won’t feel like it has to give its employees a raise.
There is actually no economic justification for giving raises. In a time of shrinking budgets and layoffs, most workers would find it next to impossible to find another job. There is also a steady flow of qualified applicants entering the workforce who would gladly work for less money. I constantly meet graduates from good colleges that cannot even get interviews. I say government workers should see their incomes go up when the rest of us see ours go up!
Bryan Schoell, Keller
Don’t they know that we’ve always been at war with Eastasia?