Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A liberal, tax-and-spend Democrat is under a budget crunch. Because of bloated payrolls, wasteful spending and out-of-control pension plan commitments, the City of Mobile faces at least a $29 million shortfall in the FY 2013 budget.
Mayor Sam Jones has petulantly demanded that the City Council pass a 1% sales tax increase, which would bring the already oppressive sales tax rate in the city to 10%.
Businesses located in unincorporated areas adjacent to the city are salivating at the increase in traffic and revenue. The business of Mobilians is business, and raising taxes is no way to foster business growth.
Instead of paring back payrolls, laying off unnecessary employees and taking a hard look at restructuring how the City of Mobile conducts business, Jones is threatening to scale back police and fire department overtime budgets and turning off the lights at city owned parks across the metro area, according to an email circulating among volunteer coaches and youth sports organizers:
The mayor of Mobile, Sam Jones, has provided the Director of City Parks information stating that effective April 1st, 2012, ALL POWER WILL BE SHUT OFF TO ALL CITY PARKS. This is due to the failure of the city council to pass the penny tax bill. In effect, this will force every game after 6:00 to be cancelled due to possibility of injury. This affects ALL CITY PARKS including Mims, Matthews, Westside, Boykin, Maitre, Medal of Honor, etc...
There is a city council meeting TOMORROW March 20th at 10:30 AM. Everyone who plays at our city's parks is URGED to attend and stand up for our kids! If you can't make it out, email Sam Jones: firstname.lastname@example.org or call his office: (251) 208-7395! Let him know that what he is doing is reprehensible!
TAKE A STAND FOR OUR CHILDREN AND OUR PARKS!
The Mims Park Athletics Board of Directors
In a statement from the Mayor’s office:
The City of Mobile is facing a budget crisis, due to a decline in its revenues. Unfortunately, to weather these difficult times, the city is accessing many cost savings measures, many of which will impact city services across the board. However, at the present time, no definite decision has been made to shut off lighting at any park. Please know, it is not my desire to see any services the city offers interrupted. But the reality of the situation is if no additional revenue sources are found to bridge the city's $29 million budget shortfall, cost saving measures will be put in place.
This is nothing but typical liberal Democrat scare tactics. At the national level, this would be the equivalent of the President demanding a tax increase to fund Social Security and/or children’s health care programs, without which he says grandma and grandpa will be thrown out on the streets, where they will have to compete with starving, sick children for street corner begging space. These tactics are as pathetic as they are transparent and this should not go unchallenged.
We hope that Mayor Jones carries out his threat and turns off the lights. Let’s go ahead and kill the youth sports programs that practice and play in the evenings. The Peanut Man could run for Mayor and win in a landslide. All he has to do is air commercials showing kids arriving at a darkened, padlocked city park and being turned away by a big ugly dude in a City of Mobile uniform.
The statement from the Mayor’s Office is a gross distortion of the truth. The City of Mobile doesn’t face a budget crisis because of declining revenue. It faces a budget crunch because of bloated, wasteful spending.
Meanwhile, the city continues to conduct business using dozens of so-called off-budget accounts, which are clever and convenient ways for the Mayor’s office to spend whatever the hell it wants on whatever the hell it wants, whenever the hell it wants to. All outside of the overview of the City Council and all out of the public’s eye.
If he’s serious about balancing the city’s budget, he’ll start cutting payrolls, laying off unnecessary employees and stop paying for ridiculous and unnecessary crap like his rides in Mardi Gras parades, his personal bodyguard and that asinine Moon Pie Drop on New Year’s Eve. Turning off the lights at city parks won’t get you there. All it does is try to scare people and shame the City Council into bending knees and voting for his tax increase.
Ladies and Gentlemen of Mobile, it is time for Sam Jones to find another job. If the City Council does give in and passes that sales tax increase, it will be time for them to find new jobs, too. You had better hold your ground, people.