City Commission Passes Budget


By Jon A. Brake

"Itís Not Fair!"

"Itís Not Fair!"

Mayor Bruce Snead and Commissioner Roger Reitz have had their own way for a long time. It didnít happen Tuesday night and both men didnít like it.

Snead has a condescending way with the other Commissioners. "I know you new Commissioners have only been here for three months." Or, he will interrupt: "Let me see if I understand this Commissioner, you are on page ten and your question is?"

Snead has been on the Commission for six years and he is one of the most informed Commissioner in recent history. His problem is his form of government did not last as long as he did. If left to Bruce Snead a City employee would be in your home every morning to help you out of bed so that you do not get hurt.

For the past two or three years Snead would hiccup and you could hear two or three echoes from other Commissioners.

With the election of Mark Taussig and Brad Everett that has all changed. The two new Commissioners have joined Ed Klimek in turning the Commission around. Tuesday night the Commission trimmed $4.1 million from the Budget over the objections of Snead and Reitz.

What about Doctor Roger Reitz? He has been a City Commissioner for five years. In the last election he spent more than $8,000 and only came in third. For the first month he acted like he understood why the voters turned out Commissioners Karen McCulloh and Carol Peak. He praised Taussig and Everett for running "a good campaign."

Now Reitz is running another campaign. We do not know if he is running for re-election to the City Commission in two years, or if he will be running for the seat of Rep. Kent Glasscock.

For the past month Reitz has been complaining every chance he gets about the way the new commission is trying to cut spending. Two weeks ago he made the statement that if we were going to cut, he wanted things cut where the public could see it. "Donít mow the grass. Let the public see what is being cut."

This years Budget may or may not be lower than last year. The City Staff put items in to the General Fund, which cut what is called "transfers". When money comes into one account and then is transferred to another account it is counted twice. About $1 million has been reduced from last years budget because of transfers.

The 2002 Budget should be around $55.2 million that is down from the $59.3 million in 2001. The mill rate in 2002 will be around $42.5 down from $44.15 in 2001. An owner of a $100,000 house would receive a cut of $17 from 2001.

In all it was a very good meeting. Taussig, Everett and Klimek are doing a good job.