At a recent Chamber meeting several Assembly members gave a presentation on the upcoming bond and sales tax ballot measures. Based on this presentation I do not believe our City Assembly and city manager have a clue how important our facilities and equipment are that city employees use to provide the services we have hired them to perform. They allow these facilities to deteriorate to the point where they ask us to pass bond issues and sales tax revenues to maintain them. Any successful business person knows that to be successful you must first maintain your buildings and equipment that are needed to provide the goods and/or services being offered. I cannot fathom why our elected employees and hired managers have allowed our facilities to deteriorate to the point they need millions of dollars for deferred maintenance.
The $25 million bond issue they have placed in our upcoming election has untold dollars for “Deferred Maintenance” along with a laundry list of new facilities they want us, their employers, to approve. They are also asking us to add several years to the sales tax for this deferred maintenance and to add more facilities. During the first three years a portion of the sales tax will be used to pay down the $25 million bond issue. Why would we want to build more facilities when we cannot maintain the ones we already have. They want us to go deeper in debt when they are projecting about $5 million in a budget shortfall for the current budget.
During a question session the panel was asked if the Assembly had asked or directed the city manager to make maintaining our facilities a priority. The answer was basically, “not that we are aware of.” They were also asked why so many new and/or remodel projects were put on one bond issue. Each Assembly member had priorities and they could not refine it to a few items and ended up with a laundry list of almost a dozen items. I may have supported two or three, but not their laundry list. They should also provide the plan for maintaining these newly wanted facilities prior to asking us to provide funding.
With this lack of responsibility from our city manager and elected city employees, I cannot support either of these ballot issues and ask others to do the same until we see more responsibility from our city employees.
Juneau resident since 1968
Retired local business owner