TIF, Again

Mitchell Schnurman tackles Keller’s TIF (TIRZ) troubles in today’s FWST:

Keller’s dilemma: Make painful cuts now or pay more later

It’s always discouraging to watch a forty-minute discussion with a reporter boiled down to a sentence and a paragraph, but Mitchell’s treatment of me and Keller’s TIF issue is quite fair. My only issue is a mild beef with the headline. While job cuts are very painful to the individuals laid off, these cuts would not result in any service cuts to Keller’s taxpayers. In fact, such cuts are pain relief to taxpayers who will no longer be required to pay people to do nothing.

Waste is painful; good governance is not.

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About Jim Carson

Keller resident since 1999. Council member 2006-2008. Editor of kellercitylimits.com View all posts by Jim Carson

11 responses to “TIF, Again

  • Randy Leake

    Jim I missed this article today in the paper so thank you for posting this. I agree with you it was a very fair article. Although you were not quoted directly on all of your points, I think he grasped your viewpoints very well. I see this as several things that need to be done to get us out of this unfortunate situation. I support refinancing this as is being proposed. I also will challenge the city staff and council to rigorously go through this year’s budget and make the necessary changes to do away with job duplication, and in areas where we are not growing as much as in the past that are not necessary any more.

    I feel very confident that some members will do this. I don’t like the policy, though, of no pay raises for anyone. There are those who do deserve something, and those that should take decreases or face job elimination.

    It is now time for our leaders to step up and make the right decisions for all of us. We can no longer afford to do business as usual. I think you will see the cream rise to the top. There is no doubt in my mind this will be a different budget process this year. It will have to be, or tax rates will be going up.

  • Doug Miller

    Why do you support the refinance Randy?

  • Randy Leake

    Doug I support refinancing the TIF debt because the assets that were built with the debt will be used 20 years from now without any significant improvements needed. These assets have a life of 30-40 years. The debt matches the life of the asset.

    As you well know I did not support this venture nor would I support any major capital expenditure without the voters approval. This is an unfortunate situation that this council and city hall management team has to clean up. I totally agree with your position of cutting more from the budget. There is alot of waste in there and hopefully this will be addressed this time around in the budget process. I just think we have to do both to keep our tax rates in check and keep vital services.

    I respect Jim’s and your’s positon on this. I am totally with you on the spending and waste. We will just have to disagree on how we fix this Trojan Horse.

  • Doug Miller

    Randy, just because the asset’s life expectancy is 30 or 40 years does not mean you finance that asset for that period of time.

    If you can’t find one percent to cut from a budget that has grown at double digit growth for nearly two decades, you aren’t looking hard enough.

    And at the same time to spend an extra three million dollars in interest to me is almost immoral. To call it a “No Brainer” as the Mayor did makes me sick.

  • Randy Leake

    Doug trust me I am as frustrated as you are but it is what it is. By the way if you go to the meeting do you want to meet across street prior to the meeting? Maybe Big Bob could join us!

  • Jim Carson

    Randy, how do you propose to control/reduce spending?

    I can’t think of a better way to reduce spending than to stop this refinancing, which would force spending cuts.

  • Randy Leake

    Hi Jim: I would set a my target budget goals that is agreed to by the majority of council thru initial work sessions on tax rate and objectives . Then I would let the professional staff of the City Manager and his assistants work on this internally to see if these could be achieved and what the ramifications would be if implemented. Then I would move to make these changes happen. Not trying to be generic with my answer but there is a process for the budget and hopefully clear and conservative direction will be given as they start the process.

    I feel the City Manager and the Council both have ownership of this not just one person. Do I support cuts and want a significant reduction in spending ? Yes where they make sense. It takes true courage and leadership to do this. I personally feel the right decisions will be made. Those they want to tax and spend will be dealt with at the polls. I do strongly feel though you have to give people a chance to understand what has occurred and why. They all will have been thru this several times now and we will see what they do.

  • Jim Carson

    …there is a process for the budget and hopefully clear and conservative direction will be given as they start the process.

    Well it didn’t happen last year, thanks in part to my failure and yours to hold their feet to the fire. Despite drastically falling revenue, they cut NOTHING. (Postponing street repairs, like postponing debt, is not a cut.)

    I see nothing in your answer, or the city council’s actions, that will lead to true spending cuts.

  • Randy Leake

    Jim we both want to go to the same destination. There is no doubt about that. The issue is we both want to take different highways to get there.

  • Jim Carson

    I have a highway. I don’t think you do.

  • Randy Leake

    Oh but I do!!!!

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