Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Council meeting 12/16/08

Please welcome the 1st District's new (and old) Councilman - Sheldon Dill!

On the Lilac Drive Pump Station... based on Jimmy Sima's comments, did anyone else get the impression that there were screwups that weren't fully vetted last week? And in the interest of full disclosure, I think it was also Jimmy who tipped me off to ask the question "Since the WPCAs consulting engineer laid the blame for the pump station's flawed design work at the foot of the 1978 designer, who was the 1978 designer?" I couldn't believe that wasn't highlighted last week... shocking!

But on a serious note, the conversation did offer me an opportunity to explain something to the newest* member of the Council. I mentioned the extra:

1) $150,000 for the financial software,
2) $80,000 for the Norton boiler and now
3) $100,000 for the Lilac Drive pump station.

I asked the rhetorical question "and you wonder why I call this a Rubber Stamp Council?" There's absolutely no accountability. Whether the problems are internal or external, somebody ought to be held accountable. But not with this crew that discards accountability under the guise of civility. It's so frustrating.

Finally, we got to the budget item on the agenda which almost certainly was the draw for so many of the new faces in Town Hall tonight. Among Council members, it seemed unanimous that there would need to be spending cuts this year... though I simultaneously heard calls for all the spending "needs" in town.

I tried to skip the happy talk and share my thoughts:

1) current budget - hiring freeze - I'd rather pay some overtime to get the roads plowed in a slightly less timely fashion this winter... than tell some new guy next spring that he's out of a job on July 1.

2) next year's budget - staffing rollbacks - as bad as it may sound, I'd rather look at returning to former staffing levels that may reduce an ee's work from 30 to 20 hrs / wk... rather than laying off people. I'll cut, cut, cut before I want to discuss layoffs. I'll fight to maintain jobs, but I'm not about to sit around and let our Rubber Stamp Council ignore the realities of unnecessary spending on stuff like all these take home vehicles that leave town every night.

3) 2010 and beyond - inflation - by March 10 2009, the Council will be deliberating a budget that will extend to June 30, 2010. I fully expect bigtime inflation, if not hyperinflation, to kick in by then. So, hypothetically, if the Town gave no raises to anyone this year... it may sound great to the taxpayers right now... but what's the knock on effect, a year out? I'm not sure. The Bush / Obama printing presses will certainly create a great deal of turbulence and volatility that could have been put to bed by June 2010... too bad neither of them have the courage to deal with bad news. Finally, I mentioned that this inflation will be driven by Bernanke's ill-considered Helicopter Money as he inflates the money supply to the tune of $7 trillion by keeping the printing presses running 24/7.

Tim White

*and oldest?? ha! Sheldon's gonna kill me for that one!


Anonymous said...

This economy is only going to get worse and it is time to stop the spending.
If anyone watched 60 Minutes on Sunday, they talked about the Alt-A and Option Arm loans that were not part of the sub-prime mortgages that all re-set last year. Many of these were written in '05-'07 and will reset in '09 and '10 with higher rates.
The defaulted sub prime loans have already cost us $1 trillion.
They predict that the Alt-A and Option Arm loans will cost an additional $1.5 trillion.
How much money can we print before the rest of the world makes us stop?
This means '09 and '10 will only be worse.
For more info on that spot go to:
60 Minutes
They say that in the next 4 years, 8 million American families will lose their homes.
This is a very scary time and we all need to take this warning seriously.
Lets hope this TC will and stop rubber stamping and stop spending!

Bill said...

Tim you made a serious error on Tuesday night by seconding the appt of Sheldon Dill. On the other hand you showed your true colors and will do whatever it takes to promote your on future growth. Dill is not a benefit to the Town Council, never was and never will be. If you think your action was in showing partisanship you are wrong. The only statement worse then yours was Alteri saying he could not think of an issue that would be a conflict of interest for Sheldon. Guess he forgot about the North End development proposal. There is now a group of Republican's working to get you outvoted. At least we have the backbone to tell you.

tim white said...

There is now a group of Republican's working to get you outvoted. I encourage you and others to join the process... not that I want to run for office and lose an election, but I think it's great when people get involved.

I really don't understand though how Sheldon's appointment is so bad for the town.

Anonymous said...

You are nothing but a joke herer.
Spewing theories and ideas that are utter nonsense.
Name the group of Republicans looking to oust Tim. I will name more looking to keep him.
You are nothing but a bully with an agenda.
Lets see if you have enough votes to gett voted in. I sure hope not.
Tim has been nothing but a loyal councilman for this town. You don't have to agree with everything he says, but I can't imagine how it would be if Tim wan't questioning many of the Democrats on their issues.
Give it up Bill...you are in the minority.