Wednesday, June 18, 2008

my impression of council meeting 6/16/08

There were visitors in the common area from Wyandotte County Kansas (home of Kansas Speedway), these young folks were taking part in a program put on by Missouri State University and were a welcome addition to the audience. Ralph Manley handed out some of his books to these students and was his very merry self.

This bill was quite odd in nature as the city will start using money granted to the city as a means to repay the loans of which the grants cam from, but it still leaves money left over to help provide for lunches to children since the schools are closed. "yes I know my parents were required to feed me as well and did this without government assistance even though we were dirt poor".

The night was kind of hum drum until council bill 2008-153, this is the ordinance which assesses fees on restaurant owners for the government mandated inspection from the Greene County/Springfield Health Department. This fee schedule has been on the books since 1993 however the restaurants have been given this inspection at no cost. Most people feel that these restaurant owners are paying taxes for this service, however council and the health department say that people who don't eat out are subsiding the restaurant owners via taxation for this "service".
I really don't believe you can call a government mandated inspection a service since the restaurant owners cannot opt out of this or pay a private sector entity for this inspection.

Councilmen Burlison made a motion to delete the section of this bill which assess these fess onto the restaurant owners, this motion was seconded by council lady Rushefsky.

I have been extremely hard on Doug since he was elected since it didn't appear to me or many people I know that he is a smaller government type individual. The tricycle park is one issue people point to on how he has turned into one of the good ole boys, however upon further review Springfield/Greene County Parks Department has there own funds so spending this $$$ didn't impact the general fund, and council really has little to say in the expenses of the parks department when the issue comes to point.

She was not in favor of removing the fees completely however she mentioned a phase in period would be appropriate and with some incentives if the restaurants received a clean bill from the health department upon inspection.
This is where the meeting got fun. Councilman Whayne spoke out about the ever increasing cost placed on businesses and how the health department should look at other ways to phase this in.
Council members Deaver, Colette and Mayor Carlson all spoke out in favor of the fees as a means for these restaurant owners to start paying for a service that is provided to them for nothing, once more see bold portion of this blog.
A vote was taken and on a 7-2 vote the measure was defeated, then the vote on the actual wording of the council bill was taken and passed unanimously.

Another item on the docket was COUNCIL BILL 2008-170. (Collette) A special ordinance amending the budget for the Springfield-Greene County Health Department for the fiscal year 2007-2008 in the amount of $35,000 to provide spay and neuter assistance to local animal rescue organizations.

This was another contentious issue as Councilman Manley jumped on this like a snapping turtle after a fig leaf. He along with Burlison and Whayne were opposed to giving this organization this money since the cities revenue coffers aren't in the best of shape right now nor will they be for years to come.
Rushefsky snarled this up like a trained pitbull going after a robber and by the time she was finished Collette almost felt foolish for trying to follow up her comments. Once more this issue was sold to the people as a means to save money since it will cut down on the stray population of animals which ravage the city by night. This measure will also be able to limit the amount of animals which are being "put down" and hauled off to the city dump. Measure passes 6-3 and that about wraps up the meat part of the council meeting.

Upon thinking this through quite thoroughly I have discovered a way to save money for the taxpayers of this fair city. Simply by taking the animals of which have been "sentenced to death" anyway, we grind up the remains of these animals after they are skinned and deboned and give the meat to the poor children which have no food to eat since the schools are closed. The money saved from the grant fund is then used to help pay off the loans faster thus costing the taxpayer less money.



Anonymous said...

Tom, The money that is being reprogramed to the community center comes from CDBG monies awarded by the federal government. Only 200,000 of this moneys is set to go to projects like the one mentioned. Another group could not use the money and Calvin is in need of help. The loan money comes from our small business loan prgram. If we do not start using this money we will lose it. As per HUD. We thought the best way to do that is paying earlier on our 108 loans, because the earlier you pay, the less interes.... Overall this will free up money later for us to use towards business development. This inturn will create more jobs and revenue for the city in the long run.

Citizens advisory committee member

Anonymous said...

I heard Derek White is running for Mayor?? Thoughts?

tom said...

To the first anon poster, I won't get into my thoughts on accepting money or what I like to consider *earmarks* from the federal government. In the end all these types of programs do is take more money from my wallet. I guess it is asking to much for a business to take out a loan for expansion that we must provide government entitlements.

In the 3+ years I've been living in Springfield proper I still have yet to see a decent sized employer locate here, I see employers leaving but not coming in.

tom said...

Anon # 2,

I've met Derek a couple of times and know him well enough to walk up and start talking to him. His heart and passion is in the right place, but I don't know if that makes a good mayor or not. I haven't heard Derek say he is running for mayor so until at such time I do I believe it to be a rumor being circulated around town.

I believe our next mayor should be of strong moral character, someone who has achieved something not because of government but in spite of it. The person has to have integrity to meet the tough challenges, make the hard decisions and be capable of saying they screwed up when it happens.

The mayor in this city has had a complacent media for quite some time, which has allowed council to run roughshod over private property rights, business owners and the citizens of this community and that has changed in about the last 4 years or so. During this change the mayor and council are now starting to be called on actions of the past and present, some don't like the heat being applied so they lash out at the individuals which are actually doing the best job keeping the people informed.

As it stands now there is NO current candidate sitting on council which I would like to see being mayor as the two that I have assumed would be running for that position seem to be power hungry individuals bent on the destruction of the very sorely lacking business climate here in the city.

If Derek announces I hope he states his positions quite clearly and if elected lives up to his rhetoric while on the stump. We need people to follow through with what is best for the people of Springfield, which in many instances isn't what is beneficial to the City of Springfield.