Funding not that simple


In response to Kim Lawrence’s April 26 letter, I would first like to say that a city budget is a very complex document. Many of what you call “general funds” are absolutely not general at all. One example you cite is the use of building fees to pay for police. Sorry, that’s against the law.

Regulations governing everything from URDs (urban renewal districts) to SDCs (system development charges) are very specific about how those funds may be used. You seem to think that someone with a little fortitude can simply walk in and use any fund for whatever purpose she deems most appropriate. Not so.

As for your aerial photo example, I will say that if you want economic development, you have to make some investments. I would imagine this decision was not taken lightly and the City Manager (if not the City Council) gave the blessing before it was made. That’s called leadership!

I hope to think we try and attract the best and the brightest to work for our community. One of Sweet Home’s challenges is that the city has been unable to compete with other employers and as a result has lost some great employees. Sure, let’s take away cost-of-living adjustments, and soon everyone at the city will be a minimum wage employee. “Would you like ketchup with that sewer connection?” Even those on Social Security get cost-of-living allowances. As for union negotiations, they are part of the fabric of society, like them or not.

Ms. Lawrence, the citizens of Sweet Home run this town and are apparently satisfied enough with its progress to keep our current leaders in place. I agree that there are things that could be done to improve our city. I however, feel that hard work and a genuine desire to understand is a much more productive course than simply spewing sophomoric rhetoric aimed at a vocal minority who would prefer to complain about everything. I favor working with the vast majority of our community who volunteer countless hours a year to make Sweet Home at its best.

Rob Poirier

Sweet Home