Posts Tagged ‘Mobile City Council


Mayor and Council “Just Don’t Get It”.

As our City Councilmembers prepare for Tuesday’s vote on the 1 cent sales tax, we are extremely concerned that our esteemed elected officials still “don’t get it”.  In our recent poll, while not scientific, we have 100% of those who voted say that the Citizens of Mobile should be able to vote on any tax or fee increase.  Scientific or not, 100% is still 100%.

Let us be perfectly clear.  No New Taxes.  No New User Fees.  No New User Surcharges.  No New Property Taxes.  Taxes on Internet Purchases…your kidding…right?  What’s next… a tax on blooms on every Azalea bush in the City of Mobile?   Maybe a tax on every MoonPie thrown from a float during Mardi Gras?  Or how about an “Advertising Tax” on every ad run by any advertizing medium.  This would include newspapers, television, radio, 3rd class junk mail, and advertising/public relations firms.

The City, State and Federal Government must learn to live within their budget.  Every family has to adjust their income in tough times, so should the government.  Raising taxes is easy.  Making tough decisions on living within your budget takes courage and leadership.  The Taxpayers of Mobile should not be penalized for the mistakes made by poor management from our elected officials.  It’s time for everyone who voted for the past budget to take responsibility for their poor decision…not the taxpayer.

So, while we applaud those who have taken a “stand for” the Taxpayers of Mobile, we will also be watching carefully those who take a stand “against” the Taxpayers of Mobile.  Vote against your constituency and you will pay the consequences at the election poll.  In other words, in three years, there will be no uncontested incumbents.

Call your local councilmember and State Senator and tell them it is time for a complete State audit of the City of Mobile.


Mayor Sam Jones on the Hot Seat…again

Well, no surprise that Mayor Sam Jones is still feeling the sting of the recent defeat of the 1 cent sales tax handed to him last Thursday morning at the hands of the Mobile City Council. Acting more like a bully on the school yard play ground than a mayor, we feel he is now planning to take revenge on those who opposed his plan for tax increases on the citizens of Mobile.

In our opinion his treat to lay-off and cut salaries was never the real plan, his primary purpose was to use the cuts as a way to push his “tax and spend” lifestyle of city government. The cuts were only a scare tactic that has now; seemingly put him in a grave political dilemma. The last thing the mayor needs to be saddled with is providing less protection to his constituents by furloughing policeman and firefighters. And, in today’s economy the last thing the voters and taxpayers will tolerate would be more taxes. Can you say Tea Party?

In the next few weeks, we will have a great view of the political landscape for the next few years. We will either see the same old way of doing business, by raising revenue in the form of property taxes, increasing garbage fees, cutting city employee’s salaries or furloughing essential personnel, like policeman and firefighters. Or, we will see genuine leadership tackling this tough situation with new ideas and making tough decisions that will put our city back on track.

In our opinion, it is time for the Mayor and City Council to think outside the box. We are aware of several ideas that have been presented to the Council and several of them have a lot of merit. Councilmember Gina Gregory had it right when she said the city needs to become more efficient. The City of Mobile needs to reevaluate every department and account for every dollar.

Our first act would be to call for a “complete audit” and find out where the money is going…and went. This would include every discretionary fund currently on the books. Once the audits are completed, they should be made available to the public and a hearing held to answer questions on the results. Remember, it is the elected officials that answer to the people…not the other way around.

In our opinion, we should do two things. First, let’s start running the City of Mobile like a business instead of a political quagmire. Second, get back to basics. Spend our money only on projects that will give us a return on our investment. To rephrase the old saying from Harry Truman, “The Buck Stop Here”, the city’s new motto should be, “The Buck Stops”.

Tom Peters, one of the most insightful authors on business, once said, “Winners must learn to relish change with the same enthusiasm and energy that we have resisted it in the past.” Who is going to emerge as the “Winner” from our City Council? We know who we think it will be.

Stay tuned.


10% Cut in City Employees Salary

I have received a 100% thumbs up from those who read the last post on the City Council and their attempt at pirating away an additional 1% sales tax from the citizens of the City of Mobile.  Thanks for your continued support.

After the recent announcement the City of Mobile was planning on cutting 10% out of every employees pay check, there was an outcry that had one veteran employee calling for Mayor Sam Jones resignation. The mayor should have realized that just merely talking about a 10% wage cut would have its toll on employee moral.

Because of this announced cut, it would appear that some city employees are showing their displeasure in the job they perform for the general public.  In the picture below, you will see how a recent Friday trash pick-up went for one of our supporters.  In the picture, you can see where the bucket made a stab at removing the trash.  Trash pick-up has always been efficient in this area, but this type of lackluster workmanship had never happened prior to the mayor’s proposal.

Trash Pickup

Trash Pickup

It would appear the city worker who was responsible for this particular Friday pick-up was able to scoop up about 90% of the trash.  I guess he figures that the Mayor and City Council will come by and pick up the other 10% that is still laying beside the street.


Where Did The Money Go?

Well, we haven’t had much to report on for a while.  We don’t post items just to make us feel good, but when something becomes noteworthy we feel obligated to jump in with our assessment of the situation.  After all, our mission at City Watch PAC is to call attention to city government trying to follow the lead on Capitol Hill in relieving you of your money or your property…or both.

We figured that once the sun came out and warmer temperatures were the norm instead of the exception that City Hall would soon be trying to get back into the taxpayers pockets…one way or another.  It would appear we didn’t have to wait very long for a crisis to manifest itself.   We are barely out of “Blackberry Winter” and the mayor has already said the city must have an additional 1% sales tax to save the city from certain doom and gloom.

We are still a little confused how the city could be in a financial mess to the tune of some $15,000,000.  It was just a short time ago they were handing out dollars for almost every special interest group, beatification project, or charitable group that asked for a donation.  And don’t forget about all of the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on consultants over the past couple of years.  It is not the first time we have asked. “Where did all the money go”…so we will ask again, “Where DID all the money go?”

In our opinion; pet proects, charities, special interest groups and individuals that receive money from the city should be held accountable for the money they receive.  If the city is not sure where the money was spent, then the city has every right to ask for an accounting of the funds that were provided.  I would hate to know that hard earned taxpayer money has been spent on unrealistic fact-finding trips, extravagant meals, stays in luxury suites, parties, 1st Class air fare, limousine services or other such expenditures.  Remember, some things can be quite legal, but may also be extremely unethical.    I remember growing up that if my folks were having a tough time financially, then we didn’t take a vacation that year.  Our elected officials would do well to take this advice to heart.

There is no doubt in our mind the city council is well into the blame game and we can also imagine the finger-pointing is at an all time high.  Some are probably claiming they were mislead by those who prepared the budget when they voted on the equivalent     of our own “Stimulus Bill”.  By that we mean spending other peoples money that you don’t have yet.   Some may even claim they should have been informed, in advance, of this terrible mess that has fallen on our fair city.  Well, here is a shocking word for our Mayor and City Council members.  YOU WERE INFORMED!

When the budget is laid before you, it is your responsibility to read every page and to account for every dollar.  If you don’t understand something, then ask someone to explain it to you.  If you need more information, keep requesting it until you have all the facts.  By voting on a budget that you did not fully understand is, in our opinion, a violation of your oath of office.  Now to clean up for your mistakes, the entire population of Mobile may have to endure more taxes.  The $15,000,000 shortfall is squarely at City Hall’s feet.

Our Mayor and City Council members were elected to do a very tough job.  They were elected to make the hard decisions.  They were elected to be leaders and to put the citizens of Mobile first.  Now, look in the mirror and tell me if you think you have lived up to your oath to the people of Mobile.  At some point you have to take off your campaign hat and put on your leadership hat…that time should be now.

Quick prediction.  Someone at City Hall will end up being the scape goat of this whole budget mess and you can bet it won’t be the Mayor or any of the Knights that sit at the round table.  Someone probably needs to dust of their resume as a 1% sales tax increase has all the makings of Mobile’s very own Tea Party.

That’s all for now, but coming up we will look at the some interesting “intel” from City Hall and we will look at how to possibly save the budget without layoffs, salary cuts, or the 1% sales tax.

By the way it is time to start a “Let’s Have An Audit” campaign.  Let’s find out where all the money went!


Burrell elected to District 3

District 3 Rep

District 3 Rep

CityWatch-PAC would like to congratulate Jermaine Burrell who was elected to the Mobile City Council in a recent runoff election.  Council Member Elect Burrell was chosen as the new representative for District 3 over six-term incumbent Clinton Johnson.

We look forward to this new council member’s vision for not only District 3, but for the entire City of Mobile.  His expertise in real estate and being a commercial property owner will provide valuable insight to the Mobile City Council into protecting property owners rights.

CityWatch-PAC was founded on the principle of “Protecting Property Owners Rights Through Responsible Government”.


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