Seven Questions

When city council held a public meeting to interview finalists for the open council position that was given to political appointee Gary Gelzer, they boiled it down to what they felt were the seven “most important” questions that they needed each finalist to answer in order to pick one.

If you can believe it, one of city council’s seven “most important” questions for finalist candidates for city council was, “how many city council meetings have you attended in the past year?”

During the three minutes you have allotted to you on Monday at 6 pm at the Goodyear Justice Center at a meeting where council will pass next year’s budget, here are seven questions you can use as a start to ask city council about the budget they are about to pass. (meeting announcement below)

Go ahead, just ask them.  I can’t wait to hear their replies because these are all fact based “yes or no” response questions.

  1. Is it true that your proposed budget projects that city revenues will increase nearly 75% over what you expect to collect this year?
  2. Is it true that you borrowed an additional $20 million dollars last year and increased the city’s debt to nearly $320 million?
  3. Is it true that our debt is now over 5 times our total General Fund Revenue?
  4. Is it true that according to page 69 of the Staff Proposed budget that Projected revenues are $172 million while total expenditures are $213 million, a $41 million difference?
  5. Is it true that over charges for utilities in your proposed budget amount to $3.5 million per year and you are spending that money in the General Fund?
  6. Is it true that fund balances have declined over the past few years dropping from $110 million in 2010 to $68 million in 2011 to a projected $27 million by July of 2012?
  7. Is it true that secondary property taxes are projected to drop to $4.4 million per year but Goodyear’s General Obligation bonds require $9.6 million per year to avoid default?

If anyone on city council answers “yes” any of these questions (the correct answer is yes) your follow up question could be;

What on earth are you thinking?


One Response

  1. Good questions all, Howard, but when they’re asked, don’t expect the city council to answer. They have made it a practice not to respond to citizens who speak at public hearings. They say there is a legal prohibition from doing so. How convenient.

    As for taxpayer input to the budget, there is none. A tightly knit cabal comprised of the city manager, employees and to a lesser extent the council crafts the budget. I have poured over the budget workbook, attended all the council workshop sessions (at which the public cannot speak) and my only opportunity for input will be a whole three minutes at the very meeting at which the budget will be approved. Such timing renders citizen input of no consequence to the outcome.

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