Can Anyone Spare $15,000?

When I was young, my dad worked three, sometimes four jobs so he could feed his wife and 5 kids. We didn’t know we were poor until years later. My mom to this day can pinch two nickels together and come up with a quarter, a feat that still impresses me. While my mom and dad aren’t rich by any means, they are very comfortable in their retirement. When it comes to her kids or grandkids, my mom will splurge and not care of the costs, but if she is buying something for herself…watch out, she’ll dicker with the salesman at Walmart if you give her the chance.

The City of Keller has almost $9,000,000 in the bank, but yet they refuse to use some of that money to offset the TIF. They have departments that could be cut and not cause service reductions, but they choose not to do it. Instead, they insist on refinancing some of the bonds on the TIF at a overall cost of nearly $3,000,000. They need to take a lesson from my mother. Just because they have the option, doesn’t mean they need to continue with this plan.

Jim Carson and I considered putting forth a petition effort, to let the citizens of Keller have a voice on this issue. The City Attorney rendered a decision that Keller didn’t have to consider a petition effort in this case, and a long conversation with the AG’s office led us down a similar path. While other lawyers have told us they believe both the City Attorney and the AG’s office are wrong, it would cost us at least $15,000 to take the City to court to enforce the petition. A sum that neither of are willing to spend.

In the end, it is another example of what my mother calls the Cool Hand Luke Syndrome. I fight against the powers that be, because they are the power, only to lose in the end. Randy Leake, a commenter on this blog and a friend believes that our effort has helped to open the eyes of some Council members to the fact that serious cuts to the budget need to happen. A victory of sorts, but still a losing battle.

I guess I will never give up the fight, never be able to just live my life with the apathy that is so much a part of our society. Some days I wish I didn’t feel the need to read the paper or the blogs, that I would be such a happier person if I was oblivious to what goes on around me. Maybe one day when I retire to an island in the South Pacific, but not anytime soon.

And for those of you who have asked, my dad’s health continues to improve. He has a release date of April 29th from the Hospital. They are working him hard in rehab every day and he is regaining his strength in his left side. He continues to be in great spirits and has started a complete reorganization of the Rehab Unit….well, he’s at least trying.

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One response to “Can Anyone Spare $15,000?

  • Randy Leake

    Doug: You are incorrect. Jim and you did not lose the battle here on controlling spending and reducing taxes. Like I said before it was how was this going to be done.You have opened the eyes of some members of the council and the upper management of the city staff. Some were already going in the cost reduction and lower taxes direction prior to the TIF refinancing in my opinion.

    The test is coming. You have one member totally against cuts even if they are needed or the jobs are out of date with little or no demand. You have another who does not want reductions in services so that it his reasoning for being cautious on reductions even though we seem to have alot duplication in some of the staffs. The third one I believe in his heart wants to do it he just has to be shown how it can be done and that it will all makes sense to do this.He will learn there are some well run departments already that don’t need to be touch or minor changes. The other changes needed he will soon understand and will move to make those changes.

    The other 2 get it, understand it, and operate under the philosophy of how do we provide the best service, at the best cost, maintain and reward the A players, and how can we do it all more efficiently for all concerned.

    My prediction today is 4-1 for reducing overhead, duplication, and making the city run more efficient without cutting vital services.

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