Herb McMillan on the Cohen Budget ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Herb McMillan on the Cohen Budget

The following was provided by former alderman, delegate and mayoral candidate Herb McMillan. McMillan is again running for delegate and is president of the Maryland Taxpayers Association. The views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher of this blog. Other opinions are invited.

Abraham Lincoln, who knew a little bit about leadership, said, “Stand with any man who stands right, stand with him as long as he stands right, and only part company with him when he goes wrong,” 
Annapolitans of both parties should heed Lincoln’s advice, and stand with Mayor Cohen as long as he’s willing to stand against the tax and spend crowd. You see, the far left is upset because Mayor Cohen is starting to get it. He understands that when you have a 9 million dollar deficit and the average city homeowners’ property taxes have increased 76% over the last 8 years, spending cuts, not tax increases, are the answer. 
The numbers behind Annapolis’s deficit say it all. The city increased employees by 20% over 8 years. City employees received 4.5% annual pay raises over the last 3 years, even as private sector workers suffered pay cuts and layoffs. In the last 2 years alone, homeowner property taxes increased 20%. 
Property taxes would have to increase 15 cents per 100 dollars of assessed value, a 28% increase, to balance the budget without cuts. That’s a 460 dollar increase for the average Annapolis homeowner. 
85% of the city’s budget is personnel costs. The Mayor plans to cut 85 positions. Forty seven are vacant. This will reduce the city’s actual work force by thirty-eight employees. That’s only 5.3%. 
Of course, the far left is screaming that any reduction in the size of government will end the world as we know it by reducing services. Yet none of these cuts will reduce public safety, because they won’t take one policeman or firefighter off the street. None of these cuts should impact your water, sewer, or trash pickup, because they are completely paid for with fees, not property taxes. 
Perhaps they should remember that government exists to serve us; we do not exist to serve government, or to provide government workers with jobs. None of us are ever happy when any one looses a job. But no one has the right to a permanent government job; and all of us have the right to a lean, effective, and efficient government After all, it’s our money.

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March 11 Mayor Josh Cohen (AT BB Bistro-West Annapolis)
March 18 County Executive Candidate Joanna Conti
March 25 County Councilman Chuck Ferrar


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