A REPUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 14, 2015 LETTER TO EDITOR: Mayor Muddies The Water On City…

first_imgPlease take time and read an extremely pointed but visionary “Letter To The Editor” posted below.A REPUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 14, 2015 LETTER TO EDITOR: Mayor Muddies The Water On City FinancesIn a move that demonstrated the sheer PR genius of the Winnecke administration, the Mayor’s treatise of excuses for the city’s financial trauma appeared on-line and in the “Dead Tree” edition of the daily publication over the weekend.His theme was penned because he is pleading to move $8 million around between the Rainy Day Fund, Riverboat Revenue Fund and General Fund. City council is scheduled to review his request Monday night. Apparently, he still doesn’t get the meaning of “Rainy Day Fund” or he thinks it has been raining a lot during his time on the third floor of the Civic Center.He wanted to explain this little monetary difficulty to us, use his magic decoder ring, lest we lowly taxpayers get the impression that he just can’t figure out that “budget” means you are given a figure and you spend no more. He also didn’t want his financial maneuver to get tangled up in politics, he wrote. That train left the station a long time ago with Winnecke sitting in the engineer’s seat.With all the military precision of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he reviewed his litany of excuses for his government’s failure to keep the city on sound financial footing. The bugaboos, according to the Mayor, are: Less tax revenue, an inconvenient revenue distribution schedule, rising health care costs, and finally, property tax caps.Now, if he keeps harping about property tax caps long enough, he’s going to talk himself into quite a pickle. These state-required limits keep public officials/politicians from digging too deep into our pockets to fund government. This is a curious mantra for Winnecke, since it’s the final firewall between Evansville property owners and his grab for money. Aren’t Republicans generally fiscally conservative?He concluded his theme paper with the familiar indictment of the Democrat-controlled City Council for an ordinance they passed earlier this year that stopped him from finessing the fund balances by smoothly maneuvering money back and forth, and around and around. It was hard to determine if the administration wasn’t counting the same dollar more than once, so seamless were the money movements.What he failed to mention was that prior to passing the ordinance, the City Council made repeated requests for a “spending plan,” as they predicted the city’s financial ship could run aground. The past Mayor of Evansville and City Controller said a plan would be forthcoming. But another operative sneered, “We’re making a plan. It’s called a budget.”So, with no “plan,” the ordinance halting the fund interchange was passed, and the moaning began.The City Council, not without their failings, has become the Mayor’s favorite foil. In order to be the “good guy” he has to identify the “bad guys.” They have often failed to fully examine issues in a timely and concerted manner. Often, they are all over the place – challenging, arguing and finally acquiescing. Leadership sometime seems to be simply a goal.But, the negative fiscal prognostications came from council, though sometimes hard to decipher. The Mayor and his squad had a simple retort – “No it’s not.” However, beginning year General Fund balances were reported to have dropped from $4 million in 2013 to $307,000 in 2015.You almost have to overlook some of Winnecke’s emotionally charged positioning. After all, he came into office believing that Democrats loved him. He somehow thought that election love, borne out of a local political divide of epic proportions, would continue as a warm afterglow into his reign. The concept that “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” escaped him somehow, so he didn’t see that election love is a convenient, fleeting love.Thus he started down the path to a dicey relationship with Democrats on City Council. He didn’t understand that he needed their approval for critical issues and other lesser whims. Cart then horse, was his frequent game plan.When he stood before that “Welcome to Evansville Earthcare Energy” banner on March 2, 2012, he didn’t make much of the fact that the City Council still had to OK the deal. With some hesitation that finally got legs, the council did get its turn to welcome Earthcare Energy to Evansville, but they chose to jerk back the welcome mat, thankfully so. During this drama, the Mayor unveiled a strategy of casting council as obstinate, naysaying obstructionists. Ah, where did the love go?Winnecke spent the rest of his first year in office waging a campaign to become the first monarch of a consolidated county-wide government. That didn’t turn out so well either. They love me, they love me not.And finally, to explain his leadership posture and motivation, we have to remember he came from county government, a virtual Republican love fest for years. Not an environment requiring a high level of compromise. So power-sharing might have been a somewhat foreign concept for him, a love-struck new Mayor faced with figuring out how to work with checks-and-balances and having an apparent need to perfect his financial expertise.Name Held By RequestEvansvilleEDITORS NOTE: During the City election of 2015 Mayor Winnecke, his Controller Russ Lloyd Jr and his hand picked City Council candidates put a successful political spin that discredited anyone that comments about the city having a looming budget crisis.All we heard during that 2015 campaign from Mayor Winnecke and his hand picked Council Candidates that City of Evansville financial condition was in excellent shape.What’s even more amazing is that current City Council members Connie Robinson, Dan McGinn, Dr. Dan Adams, Jonathan Weaver and Missy Mosby all knew that Evansville was facing a major budget shortfall concerning the Employee Healthcare program during the 2015 city election. They also were aware that the General Fund was in trouble because of the City excessive spending practices on capital projects. We know for a fact the former Councilman and Finance Chairman John Friend CPA told all of them on numerous occasions about the looming financial crisis that the City of Evansville faces. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img

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