Melissa J. Anderson
I was dismayed to hear that the Gardner City Council has approved a 6.5 mill levy increase in the Aug. 18th edition. I commend Todd Winters for casting the lone dissenting vote – apparently only he understands the immediate impacts of this increase on local families. Mayor Dave Drovetta has now stacked the council with his appointments and it appears they will vote as he wishes.
New council member Dan Newburg stated “…city employees have suffered enough and it is not their fault that the economy has done what it has done…” .
Well Mr. Newburg, the economy’s condition is not my fault either, yet your vote means I am now forced to pay higher property taxes along with higher water and sewer rates to this city. I notice you are delinquent on your property tax bills – but oh, wait – that doesn’t apply to you since a church owns and provides you a home for being the Pastor.
I work at a company that cut out raises four years ago, annually increases insurance premiums while reducing benefits and there are no staff retention measures – just an increased workload due to layoffs every six months. If you have a job in this economy you should be thankful, not a city employee who feels they are overworked and underpaid.
Of course Mayor Drovetta has said in the past that residents should not feel the tax increase because property values have declined. What happens when property values begin to reverse the current trend – will the city reduce the mill levy then? I bet the council will just enjoy the “extra” that goes to the coffers and forget whose backs put that “extra” there.