It's budget season! And with the budget we get stress. The entire year's worth of fiscal lethargy finds us scrambling to find new stop-gap funding plans. Which means we get treated to the 'budget mantra', "We don't have a choice."
In this year's 'backs against the wall' meetings the special interest item was parking meter fee increases, and the big-ticket item was the lease agreement of the waterworks. The 4 - 1 passing of the lease agreement was round one of what may turn into another ugly Easton fight. And the 'all-of-the-sudden' knee-jerk idea to raise parking meter rates was an excellent display of what happens when we waste the year not studying and planning for the budget. Some smart people got up and presented alternatives that could have been effective and feasible if we would have addressed them earlier.
The tension was high.
A resident mustered the courage to approach Council for help and was belayed by a rule that was not equally enforced. The uncomfortable session was culminated with the Mayor's loss of control as he lambasted a City fire fighter for a statement he made to Council as a citizen-taxpayer.
It was not our finest two hours.
Audio (1 hour 46 minutes 12 Mb)