TAXPAYER ALERT-Council to Consider $243,258.69 Expenditure to a Consultant for a Study

That’s right, taxpayers.  The City is facing a $2,000,000 structural deficiency in the current budget, and it’s forecast to increase to $3,500,000 by July 2023.  That simply means that the budget has approved two million dollars more of expenditures than it expects to collect in revenues.  Yet next Tuesday, Council is being asked for a quarter of a million dollars to fund an update to the Transportation System Plan, which was last updated in 2012-13.  This is not a legal requirement.  This is something the Public Works arbitrarily recommends be done every seven to ten years.  Even this recommendation is not a legal requirement.   It’s been eight years since the last update.

Some of the current City Councilors spend a lot of time warning citizens of impending cuts in city services and increases in rates and fees for city utilities if the City can’t find more sources of income.  We haven’t heard them talk much about reducing spending.  Here is a great opportunity to save some of our tax dollars.

This consulting contract is not necessary at this time.  There is no doubt that this study can be of value to the city.  But this is not the right time to do it.  The city has an urgent requirement to reduce expenditures.  This is the perfect place to start.

The City has a legal obligation to get its financial affairs in order– in a hurry.  You and I have to live within our means, and the City does as well.  We are taxed out,  and as rate payers, we are maxed out.  Many rate increases are already baked into the current budget. Electric, street user, and storm drain rates just increased last month.  It’s time to find ways to reduce expenses.  Let’s focus spending on things and services the City needs.

If you’re concerned about this unnecessary expenditure of a quarter of a million dollars at this time, write the council at council@ashland.or.us and tell them what you think.

If you want to learn more about the proposal, go to http://www.ashland.or.us/SIB/files/081721_Professional_Services_Contract%2DTransportation_System_Plan_Update_CCFinal.pdf

If you want to learn more about the State program governing these Plans, go to

https://secure.sos.state.or.us/oard/displayDivisionRules.action?selectedDivision=3062

If you want to learn more about the budget and the structural deficiency, go tohttps://www.ashland.or.us/SIB/files/Administrative%20Services/2021-23%20Budget/City_of_Ashland-City_Managers_Recommend_2021-2023_Biennium_Budget_033021.pdf

Dean Silver
Ashland

//inserted by Sharon