To the Editor:
It used to be the case that thoughtful New Brighton council members projected budgets at zero, one or two percent increases. The idea was tight management of spending while protecting all core services.
Those days are long gone.
The current council, with the urging of Mayor Val Johnson, is seriously considering a 9.63 percent increase in the budget for 2018.
This situation was years in the making. Gradually, the city manager and his staff have taken over practically all thinking on the budget. The council is supposed to supervise the city management. Instead, the unelected city manager expects the council to rubber stamp anything he asks for. And that is just what has happened.
Of course, Gina Bauman, in her intrepid way, has questioned the runaway budget. Keep in mind that inflation has hovered around two percent for years. The 2017 budget increase was over six percent. So does nearly 10 percent for 2018 make sense? Just what is the emergency?
There’s a ready cure for runaway budgets. On Nov. 7, replace Mayor Val Johnson with Sharon Doffing who in the past has proven herself a dollar-conscious friend of the people. Re-elect Gina Bauman, a courageous warrior on behalf of the taxpayer. And elect a very deserving Sue Erickson, another tireless civic volunteer. Problem solved.
Richard “Rick” Moses