Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Spending TPM ~TaxPayer's Money~

Every citizen needs to go down to their local governing body and sit in on a session of hearing your elected officials spend TPM ~TaxPayer Money.~ I did just that yesterday. I went down, with a group of other concerned citizens to observe the Shelby County Commission meeting yesterday, June 17, 2013. Believe me, the sound bites that you get from the local news are not what really happens. Did you know that three of your elected employees ~County Commissioners~ routinely leave early from their own board meeting? Walter Bailey, James Harvey and Sidney Chism left before the end of the meeting ~as did the media with their cameras~. There were just a few of us that stayed to the end.

These are the highlights that I found interesting from yesterday’s meeting:
1) The cavalier attitude that many commissioners spend, as Commissioner Shafer refers to it, TPM ~TaxPayer Money~

2) The spoiled childlike behavior of several commissioners. If they get their feelings hurt, they will use their vote to “punish” the perceived offender. Really? This is TPM ~TaxPayer Money~ you are voting with, my money and you are going act like a spoiled child? On Resolutions 29 and 30; the County Commission ordinance concerning “living wage” for County contractors is in violation of TN state law and they didn’t pass the amendment to fix it because Commissioners Brooks, Mulroy and Ford abstained from voting because they were pouting ~and electioneering~ that their resolution was violation of state law and Commissioners Bailey, Harvey and Chism had already left. The bottom line ~as I understand it~ is that we are in violation of a state law that if implemented will invite a lawsuit by the state of TN. IS that being fiscally responsible? More TaxPayer Money for lawyers?

3) The bloviating of many commissioners. They love to hear the sound of their own voices. It doesn’t matter that they make no sense or listen to their fellow commissioners; they just want to make the news. Commissioner Bailey is bad about this.

4) The idea of “us vs them” is prevalent among the Commissioners. Many use the rhetoric of “unity” but their idea of unity is everyone agreeing with them. It’s good for their reelection and sound bites if they can sell their constituents on that they are “fighting” against the injustices of the white suburbanites who don’t want to fund their slush funds and require fiscal accountability for TPM ~TaxPayer Money~. Commissioner Bunker talked frequently about the failed policies and mindset that those in Memphis bring to the table, yet those are the policies that they want to continue to adopt. Seriously?

5) The media doesn’t do their job. They only stayed for the property tax vote. I didn’t see one reference to the debate and votes on delaying the effective date for the new building codes. Not mentioned was the fact that the new Residential code that they passed previously was impossible to build and Commissioner Bailey voted against delaying an impossible building code. 6) When discussing the school’s budget, no one from the school administration was there. They were asking for an additional $20 Million from the County Taxpayers and they can’t even show up to answer questions?

7) The prevailing attitude of the Shelby County Commission is, “Just write a check; it doesn’t matter whether there is money in the bank or not.” Don’t worry; we’ll just raise the taxes on the working people of Shelby County.

Here are some of the reports from local media on the meeting. Note that I couldn’t even find a report from WREG; maybe they covered it during their newscast, but nothing online. I guess this wasn’t important enough for them to cover.


Commissioner Bunker said something that I really like ~and am going to steal~ “I represent the people to the government, not the government to the people.” to which Commissioner Bailey couldn't understand what he meant. and when Commissioner Bailey said that the best financial minds said that we had to have a tax increase, Commissioner Wyatt says that the best financial bureaucrats saying that we need a tax increase.

Memphis Daily News
Local News 24

Also note that I didn't link to the CA because they require a subscription  and as the CFO of TNWAHM,  I didn't authorize myself to approve that expense.

Bottom line, Memphis and Shelby County, until we educate the public on why we need fiscal responsibility and how lower taxes increases the tax base and businesses coming into the Memphis area, we aren't going to grow and flourish into the great city that we have the potential for, we will be traveling down the pathway of Detroit.  The best thing for Desoto County has been Memphis tax policy.    

Update:  I contacted "News" Channel 3 about their lack of coverage of the meeting.  They directed me to this story about the new payroll plan that was adopted by the school administration and By the way, the Shelby Co. Commission passed the Schools budget," and didn't bother to mention that no one from the school administration was there to answer questions about the budget.

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