It is that time of year again, and we find ourselves approaching another election. All of the candidates in a roundabout way have stated their platform in The Inter-Mountain. Yet, I have not seen any of the candidates say they want to help the city's economic situation, knowing that the U.S. Congress and the president are seriously deadlocked in a name-calling battle and it looks like if they don't get moving we are facing the major cuts that come with sequestration on March 1.
The means that the money that has been flowing from the Fed to the states will be cut, and it will be up to the states and local governments to pick up the slack, as we all know the budget for our city has always been a battle to find the additional funding to support are city at the current spending levels.
Yet, I have not heard any of the candidates address this ongoing problem, and with what is going on in Washington, this should be forefront in the issues of their campaign. If they feel they want the job and took the time to register for the office, they should at least tell what their plan will be, if they are elected, in finding the additional funding if and when the major cuts come from Washington.
As we all know, our city government works on knee-jerk reactions to the problem that is facing them at that moment. This is not the way to run our city. The outgoing mayor and city council should already have taken steps to move with measures that, for the time being, have been researched. So, if there is a new mayor elected and new councilmen placed on the panel, they can hit the floor running and carry on the search and obtaining the necessary funds that our city will need to run at the current level or higher.
Yes, the water project has been a "white elephant" and tied down with internal problems. We all are paying higher water rates now to add the additional funding to complete this project that already has gone way over budget.
This city needs a mayor that is willing to make hard decisions and build a fire under the council to quiet the infighting and get the job done. This mayor has to have a backbone and be willing to take hits from the press as well as the "man on the street." His first order of business should be to take an audit of all the departments so he will have some idea of where the city stands with current funding. Then, he can look over the projection that are in line for fiscal 2013 and how they plan to fund the new budget.
Be thoughtful of who we elect and know that this is the person we feel can do the job. Don't just put someone in the office because he's a friend, or you think he's a nice guy. Remember, we need someone who won't cave in to council but stand his ground. We all have to remember that the buck falls on his desk and not the council's, so he has to be the one we all feel can get the best job done for our city. Use your heads on Election Day.