Saturday, August 13, 2011

response to attack letter

I thought I should briefly respond to the letter in the Community News from Charlie Poss attacking  the "Paul Hendricks plan" as he called it.

I supposed I should be flattered, but his letter totally misrepresented my proposal. Obviously, it would be easier to respond if Mr. Poss had accurately reflected my "plan", but his letter totally ignores what I proposed and raises concerns about things I never proposed! I don't know Mr. Poss and he has never talked with me. I probably met him briefly when we appointed him to the Planning Commission, but he never contacted me with these concerns in the past when the Council dipped into our reserves (or "fund balance") in previous budgets when I was on the Council. I never mentioned anything about using our fund balance in the budget, although our balance has been quite healthy and is basically there as a "rainy day" fund. However, my proposal was to use taxes currently being use to make extra payments on a very low interest loan which we have already paid ahead considerably. He justifies a tax increase as a way to prevent a tax increase, which is an argument that I don't understand, but seems to follow Susan Robertson's logic of raising taxes now (during an economic downturn) rather than 10 years from now. Finally, I should note that the best way to prevent tax increases is through responsible, planned growth. Our Land Use Plan had anticipated commercial growth at our current commercial "hub", the shopping center. Unfortunately, when such growth was proposed, Mr. Poss voted against this proposal, which would have provided a new "anchor" store at Signal Plaza and potentially added up to $350,000 per year to Signal Mountain's coffers which would have more than offset the proposed tax increase. I hope in the future Mr. Poss will look more carefully at such proposals as mine and the one he turned down for the town before looking at tax increases as the solution to our fiscal problems.