The city of Black Diamond is broke, not broken | Letter
October 17, 2012 · Updated 10:39 AM
I am writing in response to last week’s letters to the editor. First I would like to address the people who took the time to write the letters. These are the same people who are currently in litigation or in support of the litigation against the city and YarrowBay.
In each appeal they have filed, the courts have ruled in favor of the city. The mayor and past councils used the right procedures and followed the law in the MPD process. The Mayor has never voted on the MPD’s as the signs lead you to believe.
Proposition 1 is not about changing the form of government because it’s better or we will have a professional manager nor will it change future growth. The courts have approved growth. The Mayor hired a professional city administrator to handle all of the daily administrative work and the council has chosen to ignore his recommendations as well.
When council members Deady and Benson brought the resolution forward they asked the city administrator to report the pros and cons on the two types of government. When he offered to share this information in front of the entire council at a meeting not one of them asked to hear it.
They ignored the public’s request for a public hearing on the issue. Four council members with less than one year’s experience and not one city budget under their belts passed the resolution to change the form of government 4-1.
Council member Craig Goodwin who has the most experience with the city budget, voted against it, said “ Let’s call this what it is: A back door Mayor recall. We have a city administrator, lets work with that and table this until we can do our due diligence.”
His recommendation was ignored. I hope citizens see that changing our type of government will leave us in the hands of four inexperienced council members and take away your right to vote for mayor. They will choose the mayor among the five of them.
People would like you to believe the Mayor has not hired a city administrator because she wants all the power. She did not hire one because the city does not have the funds to pay for the position without cutting services to our police department, or raising taxes. The current city administrator is being paid for with some reserves and a grant to the city from YarrowBay.
And all that money the Mayor makes — $12,000 a year. Don’t forget council members get $2,000 per year for a few hours of work but the mayor is available for 32 hours a week. That will not put a dent in the new administrative position. That will likely cost $150,000 plus.
Having the Mayor act as the executive and have the knowledge and capability of her staff and legal team has worked well the last two years. Some disagree but you only have to look at the court cases that confirm the city staff and mayor have done the job before them to the law.
The Mayor understands the needs of the city and requirements mandated from the state. She has balanced the budget the last two years without cutting any services or raising taxes. We have more money in reserves…she has four years of experience with the city budget, she knows how fragile the cities financial state is.
Let’s keep our mayoral system. If you don’t like her vote her out next year. Please vote no on Proposition 1.