What Can We Say? (Plenty)
That's our best response to the happenings of this past week.
Very interesting string of events and communications.
"Uh...I didn't know..."
That's what we anticipate from the administration in the coming week.
"Hell 'yea! We've been tryin' to tell 'ya!!!!"
That's what we expect from the wee voices of the voters ('lil people)
The realities of how the Sewer Fund has been operating, yet not functioning, will all be spelled out for everyone to see, so there will be no doubts about who and why so much more money is needed to do what we have to do.
Now, we've also recently read the Monthly - end of the month (Jan. 2006) - expense report over at 'Freedom of Speech'.
"Get the calculator and add it up."
Here's what we arrived at:
The first thing we are going to look at is our 'Good 'Ol, beat 'em up, Bad Man, CM representative of the 3rd district, Steve Price's silly little fussing about nickels & dimes expenditures like cell phones, pagers, and other "communications" devices.
His suggestion of wasteful spending in this particular category has resulted in the chastising of him by certain parties (no names here), as the "un-Councilman Price".
Well, let's take a look. What do the numbers tell us about a one month expenditure balance sheet when it comes to cell communications?
1. One Month Communications Expenses: $4900.00 for 6 Departments
If we can consolidate communications and reduce costs by 30%, that saves $18K annually.
We believe $18,000 equates to another part-time position to process fines, for example, or what ever else it could be better utilized for.
It is a matter of being fiscally conservative, while embroiled in a fiscally challenging time like New Albany is facing right now.
Right now, the Street Department could use some help if that can be taken as a suggestion, so they could fix the streets of the inner-city in a manner by which they would not beat the **it out of our vehicles daily.
Of course, that has to come after getting the big stuff taken care of.
The most important issue at hand is to complete the Sewer repairs needed to comply with what the EPA - they been telling us - Rob. E. Lee Project and the Screen Bar replacement, so that true and substantial economic development can take place.
It MUST become our number one initiative to take care of this situation, get into compliance, and then get moving on what and how Downtown New Albany may come back to life as.
I'm sure the YMCA will help, to a degree, with attracting new businesses, but we still have a lot of other issues to deal with in terms of Downtown development.
Infrastructure isn't the "prettiest" or the most "positive" end of Economic development issues, but it's the foundation on which we will grow.
If we are to grow.
When the 2006 audit comes in, and the budget has been cut (as most are predicting), the Mayor will be asked to make cuts in the "fringe benefits" and the miscellaneous areas of his budget where cuts can and should be easily made.
TIF areas should be reeled back to one, maybe two. Having 5 & 6 TIF Districts in this town is ridiculous. It keeps money out of the General Fund.
You know, the fund they just borrowed $4 million for so they could make a cash flow problem go away, temporarily.
Otherwise, we're in great shape.
Take Care Tonight New Albany. You're going to need your rest.