Last night, I read Paula Smith’s wonderfully succinct analysis of the proposed General Bond for St. George (found here). It was attached as a response to a re-post of questions I posted about the upcoming City Council meeting where the General Obligation bond will be discussed (found here).
Between Paula’s write up and my response, alarm bells started going off in the back of my mind. After taking some time to analyze what was the basis of the concerns, I realized it came down to this: the city is claiming they’ve slimmed down the budget as much as possible during the public hearings on the budget last June (on the 1st and the 15th). We’re also told by members of the community we absolutely need the G.O. Bond of $29 Million dollars, which, if approved, is essentially a blank check the city can use over the next 8 years for parks and rec. In the discussions around the G.O. Bond, we’ve heard several times approving the G.O. Bond will free up funds that could go toward public safety (see the St. George News). Also, in recent discussions, has been the comment to expect a tax increase next year.
If we pull this all together, my analysis is quite alarming. Admittedly, this in conjecture, since we, the general public can’t see the line by line budgets of the city. My conjecture is this: the city is over spending and they know it, especially with the inflationary state we’re in, coupled with the looming recession.
During my campaign, I was warning of potential shortsightedness in the budget. I realize now at least some members in leadership of the city are fully aware of what I have been warning about, but don’t want to admit it. They also don’t want to cut projects and plans to bring the budget in line with the expected shortcomings in the near future.
If approved, the G.O. Bond IS A TAX. And even with that tax, the city knows they will need to add an ADDITIONAL TAX. If you are on a fixed income (retirees), or a low-income worker, this will be devastating to your personal budget.
Since we are in the last stages of this campaign cycle (and I’m no longer running for office), I’m going to be blunt. The direction the city is currently on will make us the next Palm Springs or Park City. I saw these exact steps occurring where I grew up in Southern California during the late 80’s, and especially during the 90’s after I had been moved here. Not one of my friends can afford to live where we grew up. Most of their parents sold their homes and left, both because of the ideological shift in the community, and the lack of affordability. Often, the G.O. Bond is being sold with the tag of making St. George better for our children. If the direction of the city doesn’t change, your children, and my children will only be able to use these improvements when visiting, because they will not be able to afford to live here.
Educate yourselves on the issues facing this city. Educate yourselves on the candidates, especially the records of those already involved with city “service”. I highly encourage you to vote NO on the G.O. Bond. I highly encourage you to vote for Brad Bennett and Paul Smith. If we continue down the path we’re on, the outcome is only bright for a small percentage of the population.