11/04/2011Posted by MJ
The LUSJ has the start of the article on the front page today. Unfortunately they have not been posting any of these articles on line.
Some quotes on the Waskosky - Shrader election for 4th Ward alederman.
...In a recent joint meeting with the US&J Editorial Board, they both professed belief in the city's need to cut costs without gutting essential services, youth services among them. Both approve of privatized refuse and recycling collection, and both have doubts about the efficiency of turning police and fire radio work over to the sheriff’s department....Nothing major here. My biggest gripe is still the chief saying the LPD would do it for "no cost" but then once it was transferred to the LPD the union start asking for compensation for the "extra" work.
...Waskosky identified property values as a factor working against city growth. As he’s been out walking the new 4th Ward, he says, assessments are the issue that many voters raise first to him. “I’ve been talking to homeowners who say they can’t sell their houses for what they’re appraised at. They say, my house, I pay one-third on the mortgage and two-thirds on taxes. The question we have to ask is, are we basically pricing the city out of an evolution of growth of home ownership?” Schrader hears the fury too, he said, but he knows from prior experience, “assessment isn’t controlled by politicians. They have no say in the numbers...They both ave some points but the main point is the city has a budget and it has to be paid. Right now assessment of properties is the biggest chunk. Moving around assessments just shifts the burden from one owner to the next. Cutting more services reduces the draw of the city. The biggest change in most local government taxation would come from changing state laws and unfunded mandates. In the meantime the city need to search out creative was to promote investment.
I'd still like to see something that is the average assessment on the block. Those investing wouldn't get as hard of a hit. Those lacking in investment would still be paying more so possibly there would be incentive to invest.
...Regarding economic development, Waskosky shows impatience with the same old approaches. City officials ought to look at what’s working in other communities and consider emulating it, he said. “The problem is there are not any real brand new ideas, there are ideas out there that people have done and tried. We should look at others,” he said. “In Georgia, there’s a one-industry town that transformed its downtown into an Internet-commercial area...I mentioned this back when Yahoo was announced. Part of the requirement should have been bringing in the super high speed Verizon lines into DT up to Harrison place.It could have been an incubator or more for business relying on real time connections for there businesses.