Conservative stewardship of taxpayer money is a basic tenant of common sense governance. Voters rightfully expect their leaders to carefully and effectively manage tax funds, and to return a reasonable value to the community.
In the past 10 years; however, the City of Hudson has spent in excess of $30 million dollars of your money on amenities and luxuries with little to show for it except plenty of uncertainty as to when, if ever, this money may be recouped:
- Youth Development Center (YDC): $9.34 million +
- TecHudson (technology incubator): $0.42 million
- Phase II (downtown redevelopment): $10.00 million +
- Velocity Broadband (fiber optic internet): $3.85 million +
- New City Hall (the former Pasco Building): $6.46 million +
The Youth Development Center property is up for sale after 10 years. TecHudson, now defunct, is sunk cost. Phase II is still a gamble with too many unknowns. Velocity continues to bleed red ink. And, the new City Hall is a money pit.
Turning these expenditures into 20-year debt and putting residents on the hook for higher taxes is how the city's leadership expects to refill the coffers. This is bad economic policy!
And the city is proposing to pile on even more debt:
- Street Repair (main arterial roadways): $5.0 million
- Adaptive Signal Technology (smart signals): $2.0 million
When does it stop?
A strategic, market-based community and economic development plan to attract capital investment and jobs to our city could have solved the first four line items, and a modest size city hall could have been designed and built to meet the city's specific needs in downtown where most folks believe it should be.
With 350 employees now on the city's payroll, daily operational costs rising, and infrastructure severely in need of repair, we must reign-in spending and hold the line on taxes.
As your new mayor, I will be the 'check-and-balance' against wayward spending proposals because I pay taxes, too!
Additionally, you will see greater transparency in all the city does under my administration. Public records will be open and accessible without delay. The media will be free to speak to any Hudson government employee without reprisal and residents will receive an annual report, per the city's charter. You will have a clear understanding how and why your money is being used.