Presenting…Vic Schneider’s guest blog
Council at Large,
Former Norwood mayor
Why vote yes? Why vote no? Hey, it is always easy to be a yes man. Just nod your head and agree. This is the easy, non-disruptive way to go through life. No enemies and no real impact. That is not what I want out of my elected officials for the City of Norwood, and I can't be that guy. When elected to office, one of the main duties is to protect the public’s interest. At times, that is confusing. Do you want a person that will ask questions and try to understand, or do you want a person that can be led around and told how to vote?
Most recently, the hot topic is the request by the Mayor to put the renewal of a tax levy, first passed in 1986 (21 years ago), on the ballot so the voters can decide. It is peppered with, “Do you want your streets repaired? Do you want city services improved? We need a new ambulance and we need money in reserve.” But the real question is are we providing the City’s residents with good stable government? Do we have the systems in place to handle the money that is being requested?
No! Over the past few years, the current council has worked to cut spending. They have worked to eliminate anything that was not critically necessary. These are the same actions that took place when GM moved out of the city. These are the same actions that have taken place every time that the City hits a financial LOW. We hit them every few years, and that is when you hear politicians running around telling you that the sky is falling. It happened recently, and anyone who has been involved with the City for years knows that every few years the cycle repeats itself.
Let's get off of that bus. The bus that goes over the hills and through the valleys.
My reason for voting NO on the renewal is to ask everyone in charge to start working to remove the City from the pattern of highs and lows. Norwood needs good financial planning and leadership. We need people and systems in place to help make educated, well-informed, decisions about how the City finances should be handled. Do we need a levy of 8 mills, or do we need one of 2 mills? WE just don't know. There was no information presented. There was no data presented utilizing the current year-to-date information. How can you vote yes to taxes when you don't have all of the information? My NO vote was a vote for more information, for more financial planning and for more leadership from our Mayor, Auditor and Treasurer. These are the people that should be working hard at this time to make sure the City's financial recovery is not just another hill that we are sitting on as the bus rolls toward the valley.
No matter which way you think this should go, I think we all agree that discussion plays a critical role in government. As a community we do not always agree on one solution to a problem. I know everyone in the City would like to know that tax money is actually needed and being spent wisely.