Reasons for running
To the Editor:
Before making any comments on why I am seeking the position of mayor, I wish to address my first public comments to the current mayor and the members of the city council. While working in Baldwin for the past six years and moving here four years ago, I have experienced and witnessed the city going from a radically chaotic state, to its current, relatively stable condition. The legacy of neglect inherited by you, the members of the current council, represented extremely challenging issues. It was my observation they were met with a great deal of resilience, determination and fortitude. Throw in a little "stubbornness" and "a whole lot of attitude" from the office of the mayor, and, as a collective unit you can claim responsibility for a lot of progress developed from very adverse circumstances. Speaking as a citizen of Baldwin, for all of your time, effort and energy in pursuit of that progress, you have gained my utmost respect and admiration for the service you have performed for your community.
Running for the position of Mayor provides the opportunity to publicly debate the issues and questions that I find myself wrestling with as a taxpayer and citizen of Baldwin City. The following six issues comprise my short list. I will comment weekly in length and detail on one or more issues prior to the Feb. 27 primary.
1) The current level of infrastructure purchases and the related debt service on long-term capital improvements and its effect on the level of taxes paid by property owners, business owners, landowners and the potential indirect effects on schools and the university.
2) The acceptance of, not the denial of, growth and development, (I prefer to call it investment,) and how that "investment" can positively impact and maintain the character of the city.
3) The need for involvement due to the lack of leadership, both philosophically and financially, in connection with providing recreational opportunities and facilities for all community and non-community members. The last four years can be summarized in three words, "UNEXPLAINABLE LOST OPPORTUNITIES!!"
4) The need to adopt new procedures that are user friendly and insure the taxpayers and citizens greater access and control over the issues that would involve increased taxation. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT because, currently, the revenue base is barely adequate to cover the cost of basic city services. Practically any city endeavor beyond its current commitments could ultimately involve increased taxation. Those increases can be acceptable to taxpayers only if they are understood and agreed to be truly in the best interest of the community.
5) The need to build reserve account balances to the proper levels in the areas of sewer, water and electric (income generating entities within the city.) This insures the city's ability to borrow for capital improvements that actually enhance the revenue base; as well as, provide monies that are available "on demand" in cases of emergencies. The absence of these reserves in the last four years has left the current council no alternative but to increases our taxes and rates to pay for shortfalls in revenue.
6) The immediate need to phase out of the electrical generation business, which in the past four years has put an undo financial burden on the city. We must commence negotiation with established electrical suppliers that would recover any and hopefully all of the investment that was made to maintain generation capability. The city's responsibility is to provide "reliable" electrical power at the "lowest possible price" to its customers Neither criterion is being met in Baldwin City today!!
Running for the position of mayor provides the opportunity to publicly debate the issues and questions that I find myself wrestling with as a taxpayer and a citizen of Baldwin. I will go in detail on the issues I have listed in future editions of the Signal.
Michael C. Green
1412 Maple Leaf Court