Council Post of 9/7/11

Earlier today I posted notice of my talk to the City Council. The WTVA news tonight reports that what was suggested just might become the budget. I proposed a pay as you go bare bones general budget and at this time no Capital budget. This includes no money for tuition, swimming pools, down payment  for new home purchases etc. Lets wait a while and see how the economy develops. Yes there is money in the general fund for street overlays, one new code enforcement officer and three new fire trucks  purchased via financing and not a bond issue and still give the employees a raise. To me this is good news. We can live with in our means and do what is necessary for our city. I finished my talk last night by saying “You may have the purse strings now but the last time I checked we still held the ballot box” Please, if you agree email your council person and any other Council person and tell them you appreciate their courage in supporting this position. They will meet again Friday afternoon and I know the Mayor will be twisting arms in the mean time. He is just one man we are a community. This  is a call to action.  Thanks. jim

12 Responses to “Council Post of 9/7/11”

  1. Lisa says:

    Reed and Norris initially had recommended a $31 million operating budget, funded mainly through taxes. They also wanted a five-year, $31 million capital project plan, funded largely through bonds.

    They’ll meet again Friday to review a finalized version of the roughly $33 million operational budget, along with an updated $28.5 million capital project plan. No word yet on when the council will vote to adopt the measures, but it must happen by Sept. 15.

    Little changed in the capital plan, which still includes $600,000 for neighborhood improvements and a $12 million new aquatic center.

    Ir seems we need to vote them out.

    On another note:

    Team Tupelo/Resident Leadership Committee will meet at 6pm Monday at Lawndale Presbyterian Church. The meeting Topic will be hearing information about the neighborhood associations A rep from each association is asked to attend.

    Tupelo is fragmented in to many special interests. If we want the whole community to work together we need to do a lot of leg work pulling these fractions together. That would be needed to have a majority vote to take back control of the government.

    • concerned says:

      12 million for a pool and they have tried to fund a new police building for the past 14 years? The police department has %25 of the employees and almost 1/3 of the annual budget, yet works out of antiquated buildings without a central location. Spend the money to make your employees more effective and efficient-a sure return on investment.

      • jnewman says:

        This is an opportunity that Mayor Jack wanted when they, Council included, pushed hard to gain possession of the forefited building used to store those untaxed cigarettes. This could be an idea whose time has come. At a time of such unstable finances, locally and nationally, in our community we need to seperate our needs from our wants. In my opinion, it would be foolish to think we can afford all of both at this time.

  2. Lisa says:

    The concept they have in mind is to get tourist dollars for most of the retail, hotels, restaurants and taxes. The citizens they are concerned about are the bussiness people in CDF and Create. They are gambling public money on the deal rather than the money of those private interests. Just as Main street was funding by the tax paying citizens rather than the bussiness that will profit from the work. The few pennies thrown to the taxes is suppose to justify the spending of citizen money. This is a high risk venture that no reasonable bussiness man or entrepreneur would risk.

    Under the Keynesian model of government investment, government investments are a means to lead the way and break the ice, in a stalled market, where private investors have become squirrelly about investing. However, this Keynesian model assumes that government is applying the same criteria for investment that the market would have otherwise applied, so what happens when government applies criteria different from market demands? Easy: investors loose money, and companies that should have flourished fail or never start.

    Things that get the most for the majority citizens is a second library and no doubt better law enforcement.

    When we allow bussiness interests control public interests we have a discontented public that feels they have no power and those that can move do. What is left is the poor who do not have the education or money to do anything about their situation. They become pawns to government control.

    The economic problems we face are beyond local control. We can encourage local entrepreneurship and buy local, such as farm products artwork, and develop other local resources. These small bussiness will not develop when both state and local government put money into big projects that are also big failures. Such as the solar company that is getting $97000 a job from state money. Just as a company in CA took 500 million from the federal stimulus money and has already gone bankrupt.

    The big problem with trying to start a small business is most fail. The local bussiness community has the skills and mentors to provide the help to new bussiness owners. Problem with that is few want more competition. Yet they spend time effort and money to bring competition like Target. They build roads and provide tax relief as well as use government money for health needs. Many low paid employees use medicaid.

    It seems to me educating the adults is one of the largest single things we can do to turn things around. But takes an attitude change.

    • jnewman says:

      No not running out of steam but spending a little time watching what Mayor Reed and Fred Pitts next move is going to be. The school report was in fact better than many thought it would be.Tomorrow, Monday, the the Neighborhood Development Corp. meets about the 1/4 million grant to rehab or build some houses or help low income families buy a home. That meeting is at the city hall conference room at 4 pm. The Mayor I believe still wants to spend that 10 mil on middle income housing and will try again. Additionally, there is the $3 mil bond issue for the city to claim or buy delapidated housing. Even though it was passed in the Capital budget a bond issue must be presented and approved before that issue can move forward and we should have a plan. We should probably have a short meeting and invite the Planning and Development Department to come and tell us what they are thinking about doing. They may not be available, (allowed). It should be the same as the 2025 plan, which also is to be reviewed by the council and approved as the continuing city overall plan. In the mean time you are right on about the Library. We have needs and then we have wants. The pool is a want. Additionally it is being somewhat held up because rumor has it that the prefered pool site is where the old Trace Inn is and needs to be demolished. It is supposedly the lack of progress on demolition that is holding the pool up. Right now the city does not own the property. We need to go after the county supervisors at the same time since it is the Lee county Library. Tupelo makes an annual contribution for its operation. If the Supervisors begin to move the council will almost be forced to join in. On another front I am working on putting together a “Bridges out of Poverty” one day seminar like was held in Starkville in July. It will cost us about $3000 to get the speakers here. In the meantime there are some sites you can visit. Cincinnati Works and the United Way of Pensacola Fla have similar programs if not the same. The concept is the same and with more than 40 communities/cities nationwide working this plan we know it works. Also google Bridges out of Poverty and you will find much info. This program helps give people a hand up and not a hand out. Thanks for asking. We should have somethign concrete in the next week or so. A really interesting side note I received is that Jack reed has signed a “Mayor’s Climate Change Agreement” which provides for the Mayor to strive to meet or beat the Kyoto Protocol targets in Tupelo through actions ranging from anti-sprawl land use policies, urban forest restoration, public information campaigns,urgeing congress to pass bi partisian green house emissions and establish a national emission trading system. Just thought you might like to know

      • Pmk says:

        Any chance you can post a copy of the 2025 plan?

        We had talked about senior needs in our communities. Here are two someone might want to look at: http://www.embracingage.org/ and http://www.medicare.gov/nursing/alternatives/pace.asp. Both these programs are designed to help seniors live independently, at home.

        Signing “Mayor’s Climate Change Agreement” can only be a good thing. Seems like he could get a lot more done if he stuck to the 2025 Plan plus his “healthy living campaign”.

        Just curious – why bridges out of poverty? Their focus is on criminal justice, health and education. Sounds good for a motivated population.

        A long term approach to breaking the poverty cycle is to work with mothers of new-born infants; teaching them to be better parents, helping them learn discipling skills, working with tech schools to help them develop skills needed for employment. Successful programs have many support components. The uphill battle is when they can make more money drawing Medicaid than they can make working. Plus they have non structured free time on Medicaid.

        Given the abuses to the system we need to start developing programs that require a payback. A free ride for some is not fair to those who work hard and follow the rules.

        I think I mentioned this before but could you set up a post in Tupelocitizens that would allow people to make suggestions for Tupelo needs. I think you said something earlier about a Facebook page for this.

  3. Lisa says:

    Jim; are we running out of steam? When is the next move? We can still have a second library instead of a pool if we get enough support.

  4. Lisa says:

    “A really interesting side note I received is that Jack reed has signed a “Mayor’s Climate Change Agreement” which provides for the Mayor to strive to meet or beat the Kyoto Protocol targets in Tupelo through actions ranging from anti-sprawl land use policies”
    ==========================
    Yet they are building the northern loop driving all the wild creatures into my neighborhood. The noise and pollution is bad then they plan to line the road with commercial development. It seems he has connections with the stock market as the trading system is designed to fleece the poor.

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