Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Extremely Important Meeting Today at 5:30 [UPDATE]

Sorry for not getting this information out sooner. There are a few new Sun articles in the works, but for now please direct your attention to the agenda for today's meeting:

May 6, 2014 Meeting Agenda

May 6, 2014 Meeting Agenda (Revised)

(Some readers are having trouble opening the above links. If so, you can download the above agendas from the City page here:  Belle Isle Minutes and Records)

The revised agenda, among other changes, includes Proposed Resolution 14-03 regarding the proposed removal of City Manager Keith Severns. As you may already know, Mr. Severns presently makes $150,000 per year, plus $500 per month vehicle allowance and benefits while serving in a position for which is not eligible or qualified.

You will learn much more at the meeting, so please be sure to attend. A copy of Proposed Resolution 14-03 is attached to the revised agenda linked above.

Also up for discussion at today's meeting are the results of the recent opinion survey, which appears to have cost a substantial amount to the City. Despite the apparent cost, this study completely ignores the three focus groups commissioned and paid for by the City. Instead, it bases all results on a voluntary online survey answered by 5.4% of the our City's residents. You can find the survey results attached to the original agenda linked above.

After spending large amounts of City funds on studies like the one linked above, it's no wonder our City has no money left to actually make any improvements to the City. As stated by Keith Severns at the April 30 workshop meeting, "We can’t afford to spend a dime on the infrastructure." You can read a complete transcript of Mr. Severns' statement about capital improvements below.
Well basically, if we were going to spend everything in the CIP, it’s $532,000.  Which we’re not going to obviously spend in CIP.  Because we can’t afford to sit there and…

I mean, these are all the things that everyone wants done, Harv.  Everybody wants the streets done.  Everybody wants the infrastructure taken care of.  That $532,000 comes from the CIP page.

Quite frankly, we’re not going to spend a dime of it.  We can’t afford to spend a dime on the infrastructure.

And that leaves us all like, “What are we going to do with it?”  Obviously, we don’t have the dollars to sit there and fund the CIP.
Please be sure to attend today's meeting if at all possible. These are extremely important issues that affect all of us. The meeting will likely run for a while, so you can always arrive late if necessary. The meeting begins today, Tuesday March 6, at 5:30 p.m.


UPDATE 5/6/14:
A helpful reader noted that the focus groups may have been used to form the basis for the online questionnaire. Regardless, the study still obtained opinions from only a small percentage of residents and only those on the internet.

Furthermore, the waste of time and money involved in using three large scale focus groups to simply come up with some basic online survey questions, and not any results, is staggering and remains unexplained. Was the Council informed and in approval of this City expenditure?

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