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Where Did The Money Go?

Well, we haven’t had much to report on for a while.  We don’t post items just to make us feel good, but when something becomes noteworthy we feel obligated to jump in with our assessment of the situation.  After all, our mission at City Watch PAC is to call attention to city government trying to follow the lead on Capitol Hill in relieving you of your money or your property…or both.

We figured that once the sun came out and warmer temperatures were the norm instead of the exception that City Hall would soon be trying to get back into the taxpayers pockets…one way or another.  It would appear we didn’t have to wait very long for a crisis to manifest itself.   We are barely out of “Blackberry Winter” and the mayor has already said the city must have an additional 1% sales tax to save the city from certain doom and gloom.

We are still a little confused how the city could be in a financial mess to the tune of some $15,000,000.  It was just a short time ago they were handing out dollars for almost every special interest group, beatification project, or charitable group that asked for a donation.  And don’t forget about all of the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on consultants over the past couple of years.  It is not the first time we have asked. “Where did all the money go”…so we will ask again, “Where DID all the money go?”

In our opinion; pet proects, charities, special interest groups and individuals that receive money from the city should be held accountable for the money they receive.  If the city is not sure where the money was spent, then the city has every right to ask for an accounting of the funds that were provided.  I would hate to know that hard earned taxpayer money has been spent on unrealistic fact-finding trips, extravagant meals, stays in luxury suites, parties, 1st Class air fare, limousine services or other such expenditures.  Remember, some things can be quite legal, but may also be extremely unethical.    I remember growing up that if my folks were having a tough time financially, then we didn’t take a vacation that year.  Our elected officials would do well to take this advice to heart.

There is no doubt in our mind the city council is well into the blame game and we can also imagine the finger-pointing is at an all time high.  Some are probably claiming they were mislead by those who prepared the budget when they voted on the equivalent     of our own “Stimulus Bill”.  By that we mean spending other peoples money that you don’t have yet.   Some may even claim they should have been informed, in advance, of this terrible mess that has fallen on our fair city.  Well, here is a shocking word for our Mayor and City Council members.  YOU WERE INFORMED!

When the budget is laid before you, it is your responsibility to read every page and to account for every dollar.  If you don’t understand something, then ask someone to explain it to you.  If you need more information, keep requesting it until you have all the facts.  By voting on a budget that you did not fully understand is, in our opinion, a violation of your oath of office.  Now to clean up for your mistakes, the entire population of Mobile may have to endure more taxes.  The $15,000,000 shortfall is squarely at City Hall’s feet.

Our Mayor and City Council members were elected to do a very tough job.  They were elected to make the hard decisions.  They were elected to be leaders and to put the citizens of Mobile first.  Now, look in the mirror and tell me if you think you have lived up to your oath to the people of Mobile.  At some point you have to take off your campaign hat and put on your leadership hat…that time should be now.

Quick prediction.  Someone at City Hall will end up being the scape goat of this whole budget mess and you can bet it won’t be the Mayor or any of the Knights that sit at the round table.  Someone probably needs to dust of their resume as a 1% sales tax increase has all the makings of Mobile’s very own Tea Party.

That’s all for now, but coming up we will look at the some interesting “intel” from City Hall and we will look at how to possibly save the budget without layoffs, salary cuts, or the 1% sales tax.

By the way it is time to start a “Let’s Have An Audit” campaign.  Let’s find out where all the money went!

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