“Even our Representatives to Congress have two year terms. I fail to find any justification for increasing terms for City Council members. More than ever before, Council members must be held responsible for their actions and face you the voter.”
It has always been said that 15-20 hours a week of “homework” was necessary for a City Council member to do the job. I found this to be true from the very beginning. But recently there has been very little paperwork of any kind coming to my In-Box. Therefore no homework or study required.
This has been going on for a while now, and departs from past years when my 50 years experience with Fortune 100 companies was called upon for financial planning. It was especially troublesome when this year’s Budget session was approaching.
The Budget session has now ended leaving the City of Vero Beach underfunded and in deficit spending. This Council majority dismissed the long term financial planning that recent Council instituted, and for the third time they rejected Council Member Young’s request to have the Finance Commission study the proposed finances of the Electric Utility sale and its’ impact upon the City.
This sale of the City’s biggest asset, which is owned by the taxpayers, needs the brightest minds to examine the details. We have them, they sit on our advisory Finance Commission. Yet a majority of Council prohibits it.
Is the Council majority not aware they have a responsibility for the City’s financial future?
It is bad enough the Council failed to keep their promise to fund a solution to protect the Lagoon from pollution, but they left a $2,000,000 shortfall for each of the next 5 years for our infrastructure in need of repair: streets, culverts and buildings.
Now we learn there is an effort by these Council members to extend their terms from two to three years.
Admittedly, a new Council member has much to learn to come up to speed; but I did it, as did many others before me. Even our Representatives to Congress have two year terms. I fail to find any justification for increasing terms for City Council members. More than ever before, Council members must be held responsible for their actions and face you the voter.
Given the silence, private meetings, the suppression of voices, the financial ineptitude, the failure to keep promises and now the effort to remain in office by extending terms- it is time to start seriously worrying about the City’s future.
Editor’s note: Richard Winger is a member of the Vero Beach City Council.