Mayor Mallory has done a remarkable job over his seven years in office of squelching debate, and ramming through his foolish budget proposals, including funding for his silly streetcar. Like sheep, a majority of Council baaah and follow him into one structurally imbalanced budget after another, and push the Streetcar plan forward.
This year's playbook is the same. It was introduced at the last minute by the City Manager. Beforehand, Mallory had already lined up his votes. The input from the citizenry was largely perfunctory. The Streetcar is fully funded, but not even mentioned in the budget.
Friday at 10 AM at City Hall, the Council will vote on the proposals that are simply disastrous for our formerly prosperous City. For anyone who's not been paying attention, let's lay out the plan:
1) The City sells assets, engages in tax hikes and modest spending cuts to enact another in a series of structurally imbalanced budgets and include funding for the ill-conceived streetcar proposal.
2) This Council limps along until the November 2013 election for their first four-year terms, misleading the public into believing that their budgetary shenanigans are sustainable, all the while breaking ground on the streetcar, spending like there's no tomorrow.
3) Immediately after the election, the Council and new Mayor will announce that the budgetary problems are worse than they ever imagined -- surprise! And that a massive increase in the earnings tax is required to balance the budget, fund the pension, prevent massive public safety layoffs, and restore the City's devastated bond rating. The tax increase, according to them, has nothing to do with the failed streetcar.
4) Establishment organs in the City, the Chamber of Commerce, the Enquirer, Labor Unions, and the Democrat and Charter parties (hopefully we have neutralized the GOP on tax endorsements) will endorse the tax as our "last and only chance" to save the budget that Mayor Mallory let go to hell.
In the spring or summer of 2014 we will have a vote on a tax that was made all but inevitable by the irresponsible budgeting -- and the streetcar folly -- for the past seven years. We will all be told "we have no choice," and it's "anti-Cincinnati" not to get on board with the tax-and-spend plan.
So, be heard now, or whip out your wallet now (for today's massive tax hikes) and next year for Round #2. Friday, 10 AM, City Hall.