At the beginning of our City Council meeting to set the budget, one citizen stood up to challenge the council, but pointedly emphasized it’s importance on me in particular, to share what we did to get input from citizens regarding our position on the budget and setting the tax-rate before we vote.
Why, just months after I was elected by a landslide where turnout for a municipal election was five times greater than ever before in the city’s history, where after leading the fight to put it on the ballot, the tax-rollback, which garnered the most votes of all, was a central part of my campaign, should the onus of getting citizen feedback be placed so squarely on me?
Why wouldn’t that challenge be more aptly place most especially on other members?
After all during last year’s budget vote one member gave a 20 minute presentation extolling the virtues of his proposed $0.32 tax rate, a 228% increase without paying any respect or giving any acknowledgement of the written pledge by 227 registered voters to sign a formal petition to require that a tax-rollback initiative be placed on the ballot IF the council set the tax rate above $0.16, which actually would have been an increase to the tax-rate beyond that which was protected by state law to fund their new city hall bond, which was another egregious act to keep information from taxpayers, rather than advocating to ensure that the people were duly informed.
The answer as to why “Steinhagen” and not “others” is unmistakable; MC’s left, that is fixated on growing the size and scope of our government and raising city taxes, holds conservatives like me to a different standard than they hold for themselves.
This is why they insist that I demonstrate support for my position, but give themselves a pass on meeting the same standards.
I shared a representative sample of feedback from an email to 89 of my key supporters who are taxpaying, law-abiding citizens and voters, where all but two of the 67 that responded, (many emails were from a husband and wife, which I count as two since both vote) agreed with my plan to move for a balanced budget and increase funding to the volunteer fire department [VFD] by 20% over last year so that a citizen’s survey could be conducted in advance of the final council meeting of the year, so that voters could weigh in on adding to the the VFD’s funding by contributing last year’s surplus.
While my numbers for the amount going to the VFD ended up being inflated by about thirteen thousand dollars (which I wrote about in my earlier post), the fundamental intent of the email was to gage the support from those who were most responsible for getting me elected. I presented three viable options which were for 1) cutting the tax rate and giving the VFD a modest (3% increase in funding over last year) 2) budget for deficit spending to give the VFD a 47% increase over last year even though those funds would essentially come out of last year’s surplus, or 3) passing a balanced budget to allow for citizens, though a survey, to give us the green light to pass that surplus on to the VFD (which I recommended).
Did those other Council Members share feedback from citizens he polled? Of course not, because they didn’t send out any emails asking for feedback!
Did either of those facts make any difference to M-C’s tax and spend left? Of course not.
Of course, the feedback that I’d received had no impact to the opinions of the left, arging that it not a large enough sample of citizens, despite the fact that more people responded to my email than put most members in office. And since past actions is the best predictor of future behavior, it is reasonable to conclude that if I had presented feedback from 200 citizens, their position would have been no different.
M-C’s left epitomize the following Bible verse:
A fool does not delight in understanding, but only in revealing his own mind. -Proverbs 18:2
Shouldn’t we all be held to the same high standards?
Shouldn’t we require one another to argue facts with facts, compare empirical evidence to empirical evidence, to demonstrate the convictions of our beliefs through the actions we take?
Perhaps; but history proves the futility in holding others to the same high standards many of us hold for ourselves.