Budget discussions should have meaning: But they don’t

By STEVE PINTO

As the city council pretends to scrutinize the budget, it’s simply the usual exercise of going through the motions.

Let’s face it, city spending is out of control.

The mayor has no boundaries when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars.

There will be no meaningful cuts regardless of what Councilor Fred Capone motions for.

All raises will go through. All revolving accounts will be fully funded. All unnecessary spending will be approved.

It’s an election year.

The puppets don’t want to upset the puppet master, our mayor.

They want his support. They need his support.

And he needs theirs.

The city council doesn’t understand budgets and taxes. Either that or they just don’t care.

This I know, the city council can’t have two masters. It must have its own mind and make its own decisions.

The mayor must try to do the same.

All unnecessary spending adds to the tax rate.

Regardless, if funds are returned at the end of the fiscal year. And that’s no guarantee.

The council continues to give the mayor blank checks with zero oversight. Residents are trusting the council to keep a cap on wild spending.

The council is saying we know how to better spend your money than you do. So we are going to hold onto your money for an entire year.

And if there happens to be any money left over, residents might see some of it a year later.

There should always be money set aside for difficult times. In most cities, that’s called a rainy-day fund.

You don’t operate a city by spending free cash to help lower the tax rate. The city is taking our money and holding it. What gives them the mayor right to do this?

Meanwhile, excessive spending fuels the tax rate, which also increases rents.

The only way to break this vicious cycle is to have true and honest budget hearings.

Stop giving the mayor free reign on spending.

Steve Pinto is a longtime Everett resident who comments on social and economic issues facing the city.

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