Sunday, August 7, 2011

We must repair and maintain our roads, but I am against the "road maintenance" fee and bond that the Mayor and Council are proposing.

Here is the latest power point by the city (linked from the homepage of the city website)

Long-term costs for road repair are estimated at around $12 on a 5 - 10 year plan.  

Currently the plan to meet these costs consists of a $3,000,000, 10 year bond at a cost of $500,000 in interest plus fees. The payment at current interest rates will be $350,000/year. The B&C road fund sits at around $650,000/ year. The current budget has appropriated $311,000 from the B&C to pay for equipment, wages and benefits of street employees for the upcoming year. If we bond, the rest of the B&C funds will go to the payment on the bond.

At the August 9th Council meeting the Mayor and City Manager talked about assessing an $8.00 road maintenance fee.  The City Manager said that the fee will make a significant dent in the total projected cost. But the numbers point to the need to bond again in the future or raise taxes and/or fees again to cover the cost for long-term maintenance of our roads. Instead of the "tax, borrow and spend" plan we need to cut spending and stop borrowing. 

Bonding will further exacerbate our fiscal problems in Syracuse and will necessitate the long-term assessment of a fee on the utility bill. Our representatives on the federal level are pushing for "cut, cap and balance", while our leaders in Syracuse are asking us to raise our "debt ceiling" and subsequently, our fees (taxes).  We are currently bonded for around 14.6 million with the final payoff in 2028.  John Adams said, "There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword and the other is by debt." This applies to cities just as much as it applies to states and nations.

Syracuse Business is struggling. Our property values are plummeting  and our taxes were just increased by Davis County School District. Many Syracuse residents are on fixed or lowered incomes or are battling unemployment. As a nation, state and community we have to be fiscally responsible if we want to survive these tough economic times. This is a time that requires leadership that focuses more on principles of long-term sustainability than political expediency and short-term solutions. We need forward thinking, principled leadership that understands the lessons of history and foresees the long-term consequences to our actions. The importance of free-market principles applied at the local, state and national level cannot be over-stated. We must make the decisions that will allow long-term sustainability and encourage our local economy to grow. If elected, I will make fiscally sound choices that preserve our financial freedom.