Letters to the Editor
November 2, 2011

To the Editor:
Fiscally Irresponsible
The city council has placed on the November 8th ballot a measure to increase your sales tax by .75 cents per dollar. On its face this may seem like a necessary thing to bridge the gap in the city budget, however when one delves deeper into the situation you may be surprised to the how we ended up with the fiscal nightmare we currently face.
The city council urged voters to review the preliminary budget that was on the city’s website when they conducted the tax initiative meetings. When I review the budget I was surprised what I found. At first the information that was presented seemed to be accurate; the city was generating less revenue in both fiscal year 2010 and 2011. However, upon further investigation I found something perplexing, the CITY SPENT MORE IN 2010 and 2011 THEN IN 2009, this increase in spending was more than 3 million for both years. While Mr. Brooks has made a habit of stating that his predecessors mismanaged the city, how does he account for the spending of the money that his predecessors generated in reserve that the city has been tapping into for the past two years and will more than likely tap into this year? It would appear that the city council did not read the newspapers, listen to or watch the news. It would appear that they did not realize the country was in a recession and just kept spending our money recklessly.
The city budget for 2012 is based on projected numbers, not actual un-audited numbers; this makes it difficult to create a budget that is supposed to be based on past performance. Moreover, the city council does not request monthly un-audited actual financial analysis to help determine the state of the city. Additionally, the city council review the budget on an annual basis not, when it is very much indicated, to hold a mid – year budget audit to determine adjustments to the budget based on the city’s financial status. These simple steps could have helped to avoid our current financial situation.
Lastly, ever hear of the city of Bell fiasco? The city council placed too much power with the city manager who abused this power to the point of extreme corruption. You may ask what this has to with our current situation with Fillmore. For one Ms. Quiring has been given power to act in the interest of the city council to enter into and negotiate contracts, she has been given power to authorize check disbursements for the city’s check warrants. She was even given the power to write her own contract. To me the writing is on the wall. We are heading in the same direction as Bell. No system of checks and balances, unchecked power and authority given to the city manager, two letters of no confidence and city council that appears to be in way over their heads when it comes to understanding budgets, economics, and the like.
Please vote NO to the tax increase, please send this city council a message to end their plight to serve their own agenda and start serving the people of this town. They have been given our public [trust] and in turn we have bankruptcy, discourse and segregation. Let’s get this city moving back in the right direction. VOTE NO to the tax increase.
Douglas Tucker