It is election season in Shoreacres and I think it is important for voters to know the facts, which is why I offered to interview each of the candidates running. Four of the six candidates participated and I appreciate them taking the time to sit and talk about the issues in Shoreacres.
The biggest concern that my wife and I have for this election is the looming crisis for the city’s budget. And it most certainly is a crisis. I wrote extensively about it during the last budget season and would urge every voter in Shoreacres to go back and read these articles so that you will be informed about the issue and able to question candidates about it:
- Shoreacres, we have a (budget) problem
- Shoreacres Budget Workshop 9-30-13
- Shoreacres Budget Workshop 10-7
- Shoreacres budget approval tomorrow night
- City of Shoreacres Budget – Open letter to Mayor and Council (by Gerry Victor)
We are in trouble, there is no other way to describe our current financial situation. At the current rate of deficit spending, our liquid reserves will be gone in a little over two years, and cashing in the city’s four CD’s after that would give us another six months. Those are facts, not spin, not rhetoric. Facts.
You may have received a flyer in the mail paid for by two candidates running together, Richard Adams and Neil Moyer. The flyer was written by former Mayor Dolly Arons. The intent of the flyer seems to be to paint a rosy picture of the city’s finances. If that is the intent, it simply isn’t true. The city’s finances are a mess and anyone that doesn’t acknowledge that is not acknowledging reality.
Ms. Arons states in the flyer that “Some people are perpetuating rumors that the city is insolvent.” I suppose that depends on the definition of insolvent, so let’s see what that definition is.
a (1) : unable to pay debts as they fall due in the usual course of business (2) : having liabilities in excess of a reasonable market value of assets held
b : insufficient to pay all debts <an insolvent estate>
c : not up to a normal standard or complement : impoverished
: relating to or for the relief of insolvents
I’ll leave it to you to decide if she is correct. She freely admits that the city has limited revenues and that we will be unable to repair our aging water and sewer infrastructure without grant money from outside the city. Is that being able to pay our debts? Do we want to be known as a city constantly begging other taxing entities to bail us out? The Detroit of small Texas cities?
Take a look at the city’s current financial situation as detailed in the information packet for the council meeting held this past Monday. Although the format makes it difficult to find the information, it is there. Even with employees quitting and not being replaced, we are still going to have to use roughly $415,000 from the liquid reserves to pay our bills through September. And then we will have to float the city’s finances with the reserve fund until the next round of property tax payments are disbursed.
We are in a dire situation folks. Don’t let the rhetoric of a campaign fool you. Contact each candidate running and ask them tough questions and don’t let them get away with platitudes or pretending that there isn’t a problem. Then use facts to make your decision and vote for the candidates that you are comfortable with.
Learn about the candidates here: