So you may ask what is my position on the school & senior center votes? First, my consistent position has been to administer the ‘litmus test’ on all tax increase requests. This is broken down to two tests: Does the revenue actually go to where it is supposed to? And, “does the revenue go to benefit us as a local community or does it go somewhere else, or into someone’s pocket?”
And in this case, the tax raised will definitely go to our local community. Regardless of what one thinks about school buildings, this money will benefit upgrading our school infrastructure. The kids may still come out with brains filled with mush but at least they will be comfortable! (The two ugliest and dilapidated schools I attended when I was a child happened to have given me the best education – administration, curriculum and teachers still win out over fancy buildings.)
But the litmus test doesn’t tell the whole story. The Mayor and the school board did the necessary homework to make this vote palatable. They formed a school building committee that was broad-based and that helped.
But the best part was the Mayor’s doing entirely. Pursuing the model school funding strategy that had the state paying half of the bill! I mean that coupled with the low interest rates and this whole project practically sells itself.
This is just the latest effort. Her work in making City Hall efficient, diversifying and paying for infrastructure through the paid parking project and her aggressive effort to pursue grants and programs to benefit the city has been most gratifying. And her reach out to state and federal sources has been nothing less than spectacular.
This is why when someone says, ‘The Mayor is in trouble, most citizens are against her.” seems so hollow. Yes, the Mayor is to the left and tends to pursue those agendas discreetly but overall she is doing a good job focusing on local across-the-board issues – improving the schools, making City Hall work and doing the job that a corporate executive would do rather than a self-serving patronage politician. And seeing the history of many past mayors, it is not easy to keep that balance. So far unless she does some major faux pas, she is in a secure position.
I say that a ‘Yes’ vote on Tuesday will be more of the Mayor’s doing than all these slick brochures and flyers combined!