Over the past few months, I have seen the actions that this Council has taken, and unfortunately, that some council members have tried to overturn, the actions being consolidation and its relation to Batavia's long term fiscal health, the preserving of our great cultural heritage and who an increased tax burden would hurt the most. Unfortunately, Bill Cox, Bob Bialkowski and Sam Barone have been obstructionists to the general progress that this Council is trying to create Batavia.
Firstly, I am a very proud Batavian, I have lived here for almost 20 years now, which is almost my entire life. I have been blessed to live in this area, an area rich with educational opportunities due to excellent schools, great youth programs and, most importantly, people of compassion and responsibility, thats what I believe Batavia's greatest asset is, its people. However, I believe that all of that has come under attack by an overriding objection to change, this objection being irrational and irresponsible at its core, the change being consolidation. Although it is true I was originally opposed to consolidation, I believe that Batavia would not be able to survive if we didn't make large scale to changes to the way that we operate our government, unfortunately that meant making tough choices. Those tough choices lead to the accepting of a grant that would consolidate our dispatch services. I still don't believe in a perfect world that we would have to consolidate those services, however, the very fabric of our fiscal health and the maintenance of our cultural heritage was at risk. So we did what needed to be done in order to make sure that we can continue to operate in the short term and not have a large amount of debt in the long term.
On the same note, the council worked hard to make other tough budgetary decisions this year, these decisions reduced an increase in the tax levy from roughly 24 percent to roughly 8 percent. Those may be just numbers to some, to others its the difference between paying for their medicine or for their groceries. In the end, its the struggling middle and lower-middle class that ends up stomaching such a large tax burden. In the long run, the consolation is the difference between having years of saddled debt upon the City for future generations or having a fiscally clear future.
Unfortunately, some, such as Mr. Barone, Mr. Cox and Mr. Bialkowski have taken it upon themselves to reverse those decisions to create a culture of political mudslinging to overtake council, as was seen tonight by the attempt to remove the City Attorney from proceedings of meetings (which costs roughly 1600 dollars per year), it has also been seen by the attempts to cut out small and already agreed upon expenditures, such as the cutting out of 500 dollars in order to cancel parades and other events. It appears that it is the goal of certain councilmen to simply grandstand and make a large issue out of very small expenditures for their own political benefit, instead of working hard to make the lives of Batavians better and preserve our great cultural heritage.
My question to Mr. Cox, Mr. Bialkowski and Mr. Barone is simple, what offends you about us?
Why do you, Mr. Cox, Mr. Bialkowski and Mr. Barone find working people so offensive? As to not leave us, the middle and lower class, a bit of relief on our tax or rent bill in the short run and fiscal health in the long run.
Why do you, Mr. Cox, Mr. Bialkowski and Mr. Barone find young people so offensive? As to not leave us a city that is in good fiscal health, wanting us to pay off the debts of your proposed recklessness 20 years from now.
This Council worked very well and hard and across party lines to make a budget that addresses the needs of the hard working middle class people of Batavia and by consolidating provided a better long term fiscal situation for the young. I give all due credit to those council members, Mr. Mallow, Ms. Briggs, Ms. Clattenberg, Ms. Christian, Mr. Buckley and Mr. Ferrando, they are making Batavia a better place to live for all.
Perhaps some other council members, such as Mr. Cox, Mr. Bialkowski and Mr. Barone should stop paying lip service to the taxpayers and renters they swear to protect and start actually working for them instead of making a political show out of the City Council.