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Reader’s Forum — 7-10-13

Seek public’s advice on city budget
If you stop to think about it, there are usually solutions to most of the problems we encounter.  Finding solutions usually requires some patience, a willingness to think “outside the box,” a spirit of compromise and an ability to put yourself in the position of the opposition. Those of us subject to the new “sanitation fee” haven’t seen any of these qualities from our city manager or our majority city council because they apparently have little interest in putting the welfare of citizens and business owners first. Because they are having a difficult time managing what a lot of us feel is a most generous budget, I propose that they give themselves some help. The city council should commission an ad hoc committee of Lincolnton business owners and citizens to closely review every line on the city’s budget and make substantive recommendations on how to reduce spending while maintaining city services at an acceptable level. The committee would be given a specific amount of time to complete its review, and it would then make its recommendations to the council for their consideration. Members of the committee would ideally be Lincolnton business leaders who understand personnel, insurance and benefits issues, and who know what it takes to succeed in today’s business climate. The committee would also include some residents who are forced to deal with ever increasing taxes and fees while still trying to maintain a decent quality of life. The political makeup of the committee should make no difference as long as members could demonstrate impartiality and a spirit of independence. No one with ties to an organization in receipt of city funds would be included as a member. While the city council would not be obligated to accept the committee’s recommendations, the review would give them valuable input that they obviously haven’t gotten to date and which they could use to make sound decisions on existing and future budget issues. The city council is going to have to make some tough budget decisions if our community is going to attract new business, retain existing businesses and help our citizens retain more of their hard earned money so they can spend it on our economy. Maybe it’s time to get some unemotional, well thought-out advice from those affected by the city’s budget decision.
Sam Ausband

Speak up at city meeting
I cannot sit by and see two City Councilmen decide it is best to cause already struggling families into city coffers so they can give raises and excessive bonuses to others through the “sanitation fee.”
Is this redistributing the wealth in reverse? People who are forced to pay include small businesses that cannot afford it, renters who pay their rent in installments and retired people on a fixed income.
City electric rates are already high and keep increasing.
Devin Rhyne and Dr. Hitt have offered workable alternatives, but nobody listens.
We have all had to make adjustments in our spending. It’s time the city does the same, but the spending only increases.
For “we” who have voted for Mr. Heavner for many years, is this the legacy he chooses to leave us as he retires?
Do we have public hearings so officials can vote against the wishes of the people?
Plan to attend the next City Council meeting on Thursday to show your displeasure for their arrogance.
Pris Mauney

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