Residents gathered at the Jefferson Park Recreation Center Thursday evening to hear details about Mayor Pittman’s proposed tax rate hike. As residents arrived to the meeting they were greeted by Pittman’s opponents handing out literature in the parking lots. Upon entering the gymnasium they were provided a three page handout prepared by Mayor Pittman.
The handout included pages 1 & 2 from what’s listed as the “City of East Point General Fund Revenue Historical Data 2006-2011″ The presentation started and for the first 15 minutes Mayor Pittman discussed information from the first 2 pages. From there, she then began speaking of numbers that were not in the handout. When pressed about the issue one audience member was forcibly removed, then arrested. From that moment on, the audience was pitted against each other and the meeting got out of order a number of times.
The Mayor then presented her case that the Utility was actually subsidizing the city’s General Fund. Though, without all the additional budget pages it was very difficult for her to convince the public. She proposed lowering the monthly base Utility rate from $47.80 to $39.55. The rate is already set to increase to $64.95 as a part of the previous Council’s efforts to balance the books. By lowering the rate to $39.55 residents are expected to save $305 per year.
The Mayor then proposed that everything from tax reform to privatization be on the table as options to balance the reduced Utility Rate. In her handouts the Mayor references a 15 Mil tax rate. Why only 15 Mils when we’ve been discussing 30 or more? Clever politics on the Mayor’s side, she knows she can’t go higher than that without a change to the charter. So, when Your Guy for That, Dustin Drabot asked the mayor how much money the city would receive with a 15 Mil tax rate she could not provide an answer. Why? I argue it’s because 15 Mils is not her intended tax rate, if it were she would know how much revenue it would generate.
Overall, the Mayor spent the night blowing smoke and puffing herself up about Utility Rates. There was absolutely no data handed out that could explain how she was going pay for the Utility Rate cut. When asked about that she would instead start to scold and talk down to the audience for asking such questions. It was as if the audience were back in one of Ms. Pittman’s elementary school classrooms getting lectured by the teacher.
One resident continuously jumped out of her chair, lunging for me when I suggested that residents could better control how much they paid in utilities by turning down the heat and taking shorter showers. After she lunged and yelled at me a few times I yelled back and was carried out of the building by police. At that point, Mayor Pittman ended the meeting by stating “Madame Mayor is Gone”
WSB Article: Man arrested after charging at mayor(to be fair, Joe wasn’t charging the mayor as much as running from the police trying to remove him from the meeting.)
Your Guy for That, Dustin Drabot will stand up to the Mayor, Council and any of her supporters to argue against this property tax rate hike. As I stated last night, the city was in a deficit just a few years ago. We made our cuts then. Now we’re out of debt, paving more streets, our recreation center is completely remodeled. The city is on the right track and has been for a number of years. The mayor’s proposal throws the city budget out of whack and it will be left to the residents to shoulder the burden a second time.
Key Tax Rate Hike Information
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This entry was posted on Friday, March 2nd, 2012 at 8:45 am. and is filed under East Point, Feed, Homepage, News & Reports, No New Taxes, Real Estate, Taxes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.