During the 2017-2019 budget process, our
elected officials managed to discretely include in the city budget a
transfer of $1.7 million from the Facilities Fund to pay for operational
and administrative expenses in the Central Service Fund.
Instead of first prioritizing spending or looking at things to reduce or cut from the budget, the mayor and council siphoned off funds being specifically saved in the Facilities Fund for the repair and improvement of existing city buildings.
Moreover, the transfer was not properly vetted as there was almost no information provided to the budget committee. It was only after bringing this transfer up at the recent city town hall that I learned the mayor and council had and have NO intention of ever repaying or restoring the funds.
Now to hide this example of irresponsible fiscal stewardship, our mayor and city council (except for Julie Akins who voted NO) say the Facilities Fund is so depleted it doesn’t have sufficient funds available to cover the repairs of Pioneer Hall and the Community Center. So to fix these city buildings, taxpayers will need to approve a new tax bond in May.
Yes, they want you to pay again for the same repairs you thought you paid for back in the 2017-2019 budget. I know I speak for most Ashlanders when I say, we deserve better and this kind of fiscal shell game has to stop! I will be voting NO on any new tax levy. Ashlanders need to live within our means. Why can’t our elected officials do the same?
Provided below is my presentation at the last City Council meeting on 2/18/2020 addressing this issue: