Letters to the Editor: Council Was Elected to Run City Professionally

May 8, 2014 10:27 AM2 comments

fcnplettersweb

Letters to the Editor: May 8 – 14, 2014

 Council Was Elected to Run City Professionally

Editor,

OK, our City of Falls Church leaders managed to temporarily avoid a tax rate increase (the use of reserve funds is a subject for another day) but echoing the recent surge of growing discontent voiced by fellow citizens concerning the inability of our elected officials to make intelligent and potentially difficult financial decisions, I would like to pose two questions to the City Council.

First, how about a list of all of the significant austerity measures that have been enacted over the past 15 years? Working in the private sector, I know my list is extensive – loss of pension plan, elimination of discretionary 401(k) plan contributions, no raises, no bonuses, mandatory and significant reductions in the workforce, and some hard-nosed negotiations with existing vendors to lower costs, to name a few. I can’t recall a single meaningful move initiated and passed by our city leaders that confirm they have a realistic understanding of true fiscal responsibility. Seems we, as taxpayers, function as the blank check in their budgetary deliberations, thereby eliminating any motivation for the Council to step up to the plate. Have any actions come remotely close to cutting the seemingly untouchable city payroll?

And second, since it appears that this ridiculous, arbitrarily conceived stormwater fee is being fobbed off on us, why not have the decency to call it what it really is, another property tax increase? At least then we’d be able to write the damn thing off on our income taxes.

Reminder to Council members – you weren’t elected to merely be figureheads, get your picture in the News-Press and show up at ribbon-cutting ceremonies for yet another mixed-use abomination that does little except bloat our school system. You were elected to run the city professionally and make the hard call, when necessary. How about it?

I heard the approval rating for congress is at 13%. Wonder where it would be for you….

D. Scott

Falls Church 

 


Letters to the Editor may be submitted to letters@fcnp.com or via our online form here. Letters should be limited to 350 words and may be edited for content, clarity and length. To view the FCNP’s letter and submission policy, please click here.

  • FC Government Watch

    @ D Scott.

    BINGO!

    What about that city payroll? And while we are on the topic of where the money’s going, where’s that internal auditing system that should provide oversight of city hall officials and their activities. Who is making sure they are all on the up and up? In Arlington county that became an election issue. It is beguiling why FC residents do not want the same enough to get it on a ballot. We are not able to hold city officials accountable for everything they do; and we don’t seem to want to organize to demand more transparency and oversight. Therefore we will get what we deserve.

    I agree with you on the storm water fees; they are a bogus way to amass more hard cash quickly. It is not like you can easily challenge the bill you are dealt. It’s a lousy system that is designed not to hold officials accountable for what they are charging any given property. So it isn’t really about the Chesapeake or encouraging people to install (expensive) systems to alleviate the problem. Protecting waterways should be prioritized, as should fixing our crappy sewers. But no one should be charged a fee that is not even understandable or the rationale for a fee consistent. In some states gravel driveways are considered to be permeable. It seems to be one of a number of arbitrarily applied “standards” that give far too much subjective authority to city officials and no good mechanism by which to challenge those officials’ standards of assesment. Is anyone bothered by that situation? And the fact that it is not an isolated one?

  • FC Government Watch

    Mr. Scott, once again your are raising very important points about the bogus and entrenched government that continues to “screw us coming and going”, as a recent Post article by Mr. Ira Kalen implied. We need a full scale government audit, given no internal system within our city’s governing systems to make sure the actions of our city leaders are actually fair, transparent, properly vetted, and actually honest. At present there are enough angry residents objecting to fees, taxes, fake bills and lousy development choices to get decision makers attention. Would they like to be audited to make sure they are kept honest? I doubt it. But audited they should be!

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