By: Diane Benjamin
We used to get lots of interesting information in the City Manager’s monthly reports. The City Manager quit doing them because the reports showed information the City didn’t want you to know – like monthly tax receipts and library traffic.
The financial statements the City just got around to releasing from almost a year ago have some interesting stats. These are from 4/30/17, it will be another year before they release updated numbers because timely information isn’t important.
See PDF page 194-195: http://www.cityblm.org/home/showdocument?id=15344
These page are hard to read because the data spans two pages and the titles don’t. I’m pulling out a few items, the first is the library. Both visitors and circulation have dropped the last three years. The Library Board is planning a major expansion anyway. The only explanation is they want to turn the library into something other than its original purpose. They need to explain why more space is needed when the numbers obviously say they don’t.
I thought the City was data driven now. Maybe data driven means ignore the data they don’t like!
Now look at the Coliseum (Grossinger Motors Arena). During 2016 less than half as many people attended events as did in 2009. Average attendance per event was 772 in 2016.
The same trend exists with the Cultural District, it recovered from the slide slightly in 2016. Do the math, each event in 2016 averaged 150 people:
Other items are noteworthy, print both pages so you can see them better.
One more item from PDF page 185. The City took an additional $10,000,000+ out of the local economy through Sales Tax since 2014. The structural deficit still exists because the City refuses to cut spending.
Does the City Council understand their actions are destroying Quality of Life by tax? This proves Home Rule should be put to a referendum. The only way to stop out-of-control government spending is to starve them of money.