Taxpayers shouldn’t foot city spending spree

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To the editor:

Kudos to the four members of the La Grange City Council who chose financial sobriety over the tax-and-spend inebriation of the past. They were Jason Taylor, Jean Knight, Lee Phillips and Melanie Woosley.

Those of us in the real world prioritize our spending according to importance. We pay our mortgage first rather than last. In the last eight years, the city has had three major tax increases. Not one penny of those increases has been used to reduce the debt on the Oldham Reserve. Instead the city went on a spending spree. They bought the back nine of Eagle Creek, they bought the town hall and community center; now they want to spend $91,000 a year on the firehouse at Second and Main streets.

They have hired several police officers, at a cost of more than $100,000 a year each. The debt service on Eagle Creek is around $300,000 a year, and they budgeted $313,000 for the city hall/community center. Then they budgeted $304,700 for their Cadillac health-insurance program. 

The state offers a $3,500 deductible policy, which, for many of us who are healthy, means we only have catastrophic insurance because we never meet the deductibles. State employees can buy better insurance with their own money. But then, the state does not budget $13,850 per employee for health insurance.

It has been explained to me that these benefits are offered because of low-pay conditions. Once again, I have examined the pay of La Grange employees and find that they are paid significantly more than state employees.

Do the taxpayers in La Grange realize that 87 percent of their property taxes go to pay for Eagle Creek Golf Course, city hall/community center, health insurance and the old firehouse? 

 Mayor Bill Lammlein and city commissioners Tad Humble, Tom Goldsmith and Joe Davenport wanted the workers of La Grange to subsidize this shopping spree. They wanted the staff of La Grange Elementary to pay $23,000 a year. They wanted the staff at the jail and courthouse each to pay nearly $10,000 a year. Workers in the Fiscal Court Building would chip in another $30,000. They wanted the employees of Kroger and Walmart to chip in more than $100,000 a year.

Why is this necessary? Because they don’t have the intestinal fortitude to make hard spending decisions. They wanted workers at Dairy Queen and McDonald’s to pay for their financial indiscretions.

La Grange deserves better.

— Rick Rash