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After reading the Pilot's editorial against Amendment 66, I downloaded and read all 141 pages of Senate Bill 13-213 -- something the editorial board members would be advised to do. I believe that the Senate bill is an exhaustive description of what money would be raised, where it would go, what it must be used for (in excruciating detail), how the schools' performance will be measured, and how the performance of the law itself will be audited. The Pilot's editorial is misinformed.
The Brenner/Dellinger/Anderson Council's purchase of the Iron Horse may have been the worst Council decision ever. It was self-serving ("re-elect us because we've done something for affordable housing"), irrational, and done by circumventing any public process. But simply shutting down the hotel part to cut the City's losses will just make the situation worse. If the Iron Horse were owned by a business, and it shut down, the City would use every means at its disposal to avoid having a vacant hotel right on the main commercial corridor (see Hampton Inn). The City shouldn't get an exemption just because it's the City. It's no longer a question of whether the City will transfer the Iron Horse to the private sector, but how. There will be no fairy godmother to wave a magic wand and turn the hotel into a thriving enterprise for the City. The Iron Horse is a millstone around the City's neck, and we must accept that the pain is going to last until we pay off the last dollar of the outrageous debt that came with the Inn. Time to make the best of a bad situation and move on. And please stick to doing city business while leaving hotels to people who know how to run them.
Excellent analysis, Jim. Council, please take note and use these guidelines when you re-evaluate the proposals.
The City Manager's job description is described in detail in the City Charter. I assume that what the Pilot calls the "job description" is perhaps Council's expectations as to how the City Manager will discharge that job description. That's an important distinction, because some past Council members have thought that they could rewrite the City Manager's job description to suit themselves, without asking the voters to amend the Charter.
For your information, Scott, the TSA staff at YVRA do not report to Dave Ruppel, and he has no authority over them. Your criticism of him is misplaced and grossly unfair.
Excellent choice, super lady, wonderful person. You go, girl.
It was a wise person who first said "When you find yourself in a hole, the first thing you need to do is stop digging." All eight of these admirable projects constitute more money holes. Once they are paid for by the accommodation tax, how will they be maintained? It's all well and good to call for a fee that will make these self-sufficient, but I'll bet that doesn't happen. Don't we have enough stuff? Shouldn't we concentrate such resources as we have on taking care of those before we add more? Perhaps we should call a time-out and not spend the accommodation tax largesse until we have a solid plan in place that provides for maintaining all of the excellent amenities that we have now and that we may add in the future.
Hear, hear! Nancy has been a model citizen/local government official. Her courage in carrying on through her serious medical issues has been amazing. Could we clone her?
The International City-County Manager Association (ICMA) and the National League of Cities (NLC) both can provide reams of information about the Council-Manager system and other systems such as strong mayor, weak mayor, etc. Naturally, my preference is the Council-Manager system that Steamboat embraced in the 1970's. The Council-Manager system is the most widely used local government system in the United States. It originated in the 1920's as a reaction against widespread corruption, nepotism, cronyism and other hurtful "isms." It combines volunteer politicians (elected officials) with a professional, non-political manager whose job is to carry out the elected officials' vision (if they have one) and, at the same time, supervise the essential day-to-day operations of the city. It's a fine system, and it shouldn't be thrown out just because some elected officials weren't smart enough to use it properly.
It's time -- way past time -- to consider charging a modest fee for using all of the routes -- something like a dollar for riding all day. It probably won't pay the entire costs, but it would avoid this sort of last-minute decision to cut service just before the busy season. I can't believe that we couldn't figure out how to do it for next winter.
Last login: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
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