Finally the people have awoken in Euclid and soundly defeated a school levy. But what does the school board have to say about this... well they will try again in November. And the beat goes on....
Below is taken from Councilman Mary Jo Minariks blog, these are her words:
On Monday May 9th at 6:30pm in Council Chambers, Council will hold an Executive Committee to discuss the current Garbage and Street Lighting Fees along with a couple Charter Amendments. The public is encouraged to show up and voice their opinion.
For background, when Council approved Garbage and Street Lighting Fees (aka taxes) last April, it was for a two year period -2010 and 2011.
Every residence or 'stop' would be charged $9/month for Garbage whether they had one bag or a tree lawn full of bags; whether the house was occupied or not; whether you had a business you could deposit your trash at or not. Seniors who could prove they had incomes of $20,000 or less have a reduced rate of $7/month. Vacant houses can get a 50% reduction. In a nutshell, the program is socialism - oops, I mean egalitarianism at its best.
Those two taxes are about to sunset and the Mayor has submitted legislation to Council to extend the Garbage Tax and the Street Light Tax for five more years.
As the lone Councilperson voting against the Garbage Tax, let me take a few paragraphs to justify my vote. First, to avoid redundancy, I encourage you to read my older posts on the tax Feb 5, 2010 "Trash Talk" and Mar 5, 2010 "Trash Talk Update".
We were told the Garbage Tax was needed to avoid huge layoffs in the Safety Forces. Was it? Garbage fees collected thru November of 2010 came to roughly $1.2million. Interestingly enough in December the Mayor was able to put money into the City's cash reserves. The amount set aside was $1.2million. What a coincidence!
We were told the Street Lighting fees were needed to pay the utility bill. That fee was to be placed on the property tax rolls to be collected in 2011. Against that future collection, the Mayor borrowed $855,000. Now one would think that when that money started rolling in, the Mayor would pay back the $855,000. Not so. The Administration has decided to pay back that loan over time.
An unforeseen side effect to Council's approving these two taxes was rejection of the 2mill sewer levy renewal. This should have been a no brainer for passage. There was No Increase to property taxes and the tax was about $10/year to be used for among other things, snaking residents' clogged sewer lines. Apparently, hell hath no fury as a taxpayer dissed. The voters said NO, leaving the Administration scrambling to figure how to cover that $500,000 or so loss.
The arguments used to twist Council's arm into approving these two taxes were disingenuous at best. It will be interesting to see if Council falls for them again.