By: Diane Benjamin
All you need to know about what happened at last nights extremely long Council meeting:
- Your gas tax is going to double to .08 per gallon because you want the roads fixed and they can’t find any money
- You will get an estimated $10 million aquatics center, no word whether it will only be used for three months in the summer or if this is an indoor facility built to complete with other private indoor pools.
- Alderman Black thinks the aquatics center will make money
- Privatizing garbage service will be studied, it won’t happen.
- Changing bulk pickup to twice a year received little comment from Council
- The Welcoming Ordinance is back in February, The meeting is back at the BCPA, Tari apologized for taking so long. Yes, this Council will ignore their Police Chief.
- A representative of the Immigration Project admitted during Public Comment they had the facts wrong on a local illegal being detained.
- The AFSCME union contract was approved with zero discussion
- Selling property was discussed, just not the North Main with $1.4 million tied up doing nothing
- 80% of City employees are union
- The $200 business license isn’t likely, but registering businesses for free is. (We can’t afford it, but let’s grow government and give employees something else to do!)
- Cutting Quality of Life wasn’t mentioned except in Public Comment
- Cutting entire programs wasn’t mentioned
- Cutting legal expenses wasn’t mentioned
- Hiring Steve Rasmussen as permanent City Manager was mentioned during public comment numerous times
- Alderman Hauman organized a group of citizens to look at the budget. All of them spoke during Public Comment. See 21:15 The group had suggestions, like making employees pay more for benefits. They currently contribute far less than private sector employees do.
- The meeting was almost 3 hours long, the only clear theme was they need more money.
Since most of your taxes go to employees:
- The head of HR thinks ONE City employee should exist for every 100 citizens. The population is down to 76,000, she claimed they have 656 full time equivalents.
- She also claims the average salary is $50,000 and nobody works in government to get rich.
- See this PDF: 2017TotalCompensationReport The first 2 1/2 pages are people making a base salary of less than $50,000-some didn’t work a full year and shouldn’t be listed. The next 8 pages are people with base salaries over $50,000 a year. I used City data, converted it to excel, sorted it by base salary and deleted zero and very low salaries reflecting either people working part time or ones who left: http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12646
The average salary is NOT $50,000.
Watch Nicole Albertson lamenting how difficult life is for employees – just hit play: