The Local Costs of The Folly in Iraq...And Local Folly in City Council ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Local Costs of The Folly in Iraq...And Local Folly in City Council

From the "Think Globally, Act Locally" case files, we bring you...Iraq--in a second, but first stick with me...Thankfully, and with the lead of Alderman Dick Israel, our city council voted 5-4 to postpone voting on our annual budget in order to more thoroughly assess yet the latest round of spending increases. These increases have exceeded inflation's increases for many years. It seems as if our budget goes up and up, our taxes go up and up, but what do we get? The law gives until June 30 to finalize the budget, so what's wrong with not rushing the process? So....last night after ending up on the losing side of a vote to enact the budget, Mayor Moyer got into a bit of a dither, as I am told by reliable sources. Along with Moyer were Democratic stalwarts Hoyle, Finlayson and Shropshire, who also objected. Once the thoughtful and deliberative Alderman Israel cast his vote, he was joined by the two Republicans, Cordle and Paone and Independent Stankivic and by Democrat Ross Arnett, who did the right thing and did not let the wrath of Mayor Moyer sway him to do her thing.

And it must be said that were it nor for the ongoing activism of a group of mostly Eastport residents who started out voicing concern about gunfire, this might not have ever happened. I say "might not" for I don't claim to have the full inside story. Even though they started out with an erroneous claim about budget growth, which I pointed out to some of them, they did do their homework, and really got the ball rolling on this one. Kudos to those active city residents. And Mayor Moyer, had you not overreacted and called them "rhetorical bomb throwers" when they started, you might have made more progress and gotten your way.

Okay, so now we have a window of time to review the budget and maybe we can figure out where to cut some spending, save some money and keep the process more transparent.

NOTE--one more reason why we should seriously consider a City Manager form of government....Now on to the rest of the story (with apologies to Paul Harvey).

It's not everyday that a nation goes out and spends millions and millions of dollars to station most of its military resources halfway around the world....unless you're talking about World War 2 or the USA during the Bush Administration--as in right now. These enormous costs--and we're just talking financial for a moment, are hurting us here at home. CP has consistently opposed this senseless war and is pleased to promote a Town Hall meeting on this very topic (see above). Now, before I go on, I want to say that its sponsor, Alderman Sam Shropshire,who has often not fully understood his role as a city councilman and tends to think he is a US Congressman at times, acts differently when it comes to our own budget--a budget where his vote constitutes 11% of the vote total (In Congress it would be one out of 435 or perhaps one out of 100). As we just saw, he is not concerned about citizen protest in his own city where he votes on our local budget, but he spends a lot of time sponsoring a forum on Iraq war spending. I applaud him for making the connection, but really, Sam, don't you think that focusing on our city budget is really your priority? (See the post above this for the Town Hall Meeting on Iraq)


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