Monday, January 03, 2005
We are going to recap their activities and decisions during 2004 and keep a close eye on their activities and decisions this year.
If you are interested in running for mayor or council this year you can pick up your petition on August 10th at the City Clerk's office at City Hall. You must have 50 signatures (City residents) and have it turned in by September 9th at the City Clerk's office at City Hall. If you have any questions please contact Charles Evans, City Clerk.
Thank you - thank you - thank you! It's about time we had a forum to discuss the many policy and personnel mistakes of this Council.
I invite any and all to begin listing each of the "problems" you have seen and/or heard during the last year so that we can have a good volume of information for challengers to use come September 9 (or even earlier)!
(1)Tax Abatement request – It was my understanding that Council has a policy of 12 years for real property and 6 years for personal property. I believe this approach is problematic in itself, but the “policymaking on the fly” executed last night demonstrated that they in fact have NO policy. Such arbitrariness is also a message to potential developers/proprietors not to view Monroe as a location. The City Manager also demonstrated her “expert” knowledge on economic development – there are MANY programs available for use in attracting development. Sam Guich had the most knowledge in the chamber – thank goodness he was able to provide correct information. BTW, if a 12-year abatement was approved, and the firm moved at 11 ½ years, then the statute (and required IFT agreement between the City and business) would require that the abated taxes be paid back…
(2) The Habitat discussion is just plain wrongheaded and offensive. A little research into the records would find that (1) No one wanted the City’s lots back in the mid-90s, so the Habitat projects were started to get activity started and were the first new construction projects in Orchard East in more than 20 years; (2) the Habitat homeowners PAY TAXES, as opposed to subsidized housing programs; (3) the City also has the Homebuilder Program, which disposes of lots (for $1) through a partnership with local builders & MBT; (4) Last time I checked, the City’s homeownership rate increased by 2% from 1990 – 2000. Interestingly, the greatest percentage of owner-renter conversions occurred in the 70’s and 80’s while Mayor Iaco was the City Planner – no one has raised this point but someone should; (5) there are at least two state programs (Neighborhood Enterprise Zones, MSHDA Neighborhood Preservation Program) which could be started tomorrow, but the current leadership has no clue of them (because there are “so few local economic development programs”); and (6) So what if the City disposes lots for $1 to Habitat – they got most of them from the State, and the “revenue” focus should be on ongoing property taxes, not sale price.
(3) It's interesting to see how this Council is reacting to what they perceive as “slanted” news reporting. My thoughts here are (a) welcome to the world of local news reporting, (b) maybe they now can sense how Mayor Al’s Councils and Administration felt at times, and (c) context or not, that’s what they said – and it presents a recurring pattern.
Here's your big chance. Instead of sitting on the sidelines you should pull petitions and run for council. Why be a spectator when you can be a player! Time2Change, the buzz is that your councilwoman, Dorothy Edwards, will not be running for reelection next year.