The budget was not adopted, oh wait yes it was in a blink of an eye and yes the council did approve 2011-2112 budget. When the council was poised to get the answers that they have been asking for since November of last year. They voted not to adopt the budget and before you know it taken away from the public eye and they come back into chambers and Councilwoman Horvath changed her Vote to Yes and again they have decided that the Mayor should have his way.. What good were all those arguments and they were very good arguments very real concerns and again they did not get the information that they needed, but they passed it anyway. Two Council members voted no Van Houten and Badalow.
What happened? If you are at home and are watching on Television you might be a little lost some inside the council chambers had a hard time following what happened it was very confusing. The council asked the question for a date when the Fire Contract will be done. The assistant to the Mayor said she could not tell them because that was a discussion that they had in closed session. This was all after they had voted NO on the budget. They (the council) were trying to put dates together when they could discuss their concerns and one of those concerns was the contract with the fire department. Well when she could not answer the question then it was put to the council that they could meet in closed session and maybe that would alleviate all of their concerns. Who put this solution well the Mayor leaned over to corporation counsel and the next thing you know he was suggesting it. I’m just saying, that is how it happened. Well they did that to the great relief of council chair who made it very obvious he did not want to talk about the budget anymore. Fifteen minutes later they came back out went on the record and passed the budget. In fifteen minutes they had the answer to questions that they had been asking for months right?
No I do not think so, some of the major concerns had nothing to do with the fire department contract they had to do with the deficit budget we are now in. How much is it the Mayor skated around this and would not confirm what we all know to be true. He would not say the amount even though he knows how much it will be or has a very good idea. He went on to tell the council that he went to Lansing and found out just what has to be done in the case that there is a deficit. Still did not give an amount of that deficit. The other major concern very, very real is this, if the savings that were put in the budget we are now in did not materialize thus putting the city in a deficit, and the budget for 2011-2012 is based on the same thing how then will this not be a problem. If those savings did not materialize in this budget they will not in the new budget…
We are going to be even more in debt at the end of the 2011 budget and then what? Oh he the Mayor talks a very good game he talks about sitting with the council when and if the city has to put together a plan to submit to the state to get out of the deficit. Oh goody then we can pull the famous incinerator property out of his back pocket and say here is 1.2 million we can use towards it. Well first off I think the council or I would hope I am not sure anymore. Would point a finger at him for once and tell him just how irresponsible he is just for trying to keep this fairytale alive. That would not even be enough sooner or later he is going to have to put up something to find the money where or where is he going to find it? How much more can he take from the employees oh, but do not touch those cars, or those cell phones. No do not do that. Is there any more jobs he can eliminate to think he started eliminating jobs before he would even think about taking a car away. I hope every time someone takes one of those cars home they will think about the people who no longer have a job in the city. I hope when the council is giving a chance to the department heads to plead their case to keep taking those cars home. They will ask themselves why they did not give a chance to the people who lost their jobs the opportunity to plead their case for keeping their jobs. Well folks it will be interesting to see when he meets with the council (don’t hold your breath) to discuss the plan what they are going to come up with.
Oh the council made sure to put the stipulation on the record to have monthly meetings with the Mayor to discuss the budget. Those will be public right? This is taxpayer money you are going to be talking about once a month. I would think the first meeting the Mayor put’s for sometime in August might be the first and last and if that meeting goes anything like one meeting the council scheduled with him in March well for get it. That meeting in March was for the purpose of discussing the deficit and budget and about 5 minutes were spent on that and before you knew it the conversation turned to the clerk problem and the mosaic he (the Mayor) wants to do. Imagine every meeting every month going like that spent talking about anything and everything besides the big white elephant in the room the budget.
Did the council show some guts and teeth at the last meeting yes, but the other side showed Fangs. Did the council show that they are not just there to do his bidding well yes and no they did when they had the chance to get the answers once and for all when it was right there in the palm of their hands they just let it slip away. Instead they will go back to begging and pleading with him and some of his administration for answers and information. Answers and information that should be theirs from the first time they ask for it.
Did the council show their teeth when they talked about the cars, and cell phones yes they did, but how do you think these study sessions are going to go? By the time they get done listening to everyone who do you think is going to step up to the plate and say no you are not going to take home the car. How much of this do you think the Mayor is going to do off camera here is something that I would like the study session done on camera. The press in each of these study sessions and once a month meetings for the budget. What rabbit is going to be pulled from the Hat to make sure these discussion are going to happen in closed session budget or not he will find a way. If the public or the press is sitting in the room like they were at the last CCM he will not be forthcoming with anything. He can not publicly take the chance on saying the city is in a deficit the image you know, we want to protect that above all else. In the end guys you can watch it for yourselves and draw your own conclusions these are just mine.