The main news out of 24 May Special Budget meeting was City Manager Don Johnson's description of several millage scenarios. He described seven or eight scenarios and estimated how much millage will be needed to implement each one. CITCOM chose the 4th scenario of services which will require 3.975 mills, although no action was taken during this meeting. City Hall observers have been quick to wonder why Johnson chose to exceed the City Charter's 11-mill limit by going to 11.03.
It's too late to get the millage on the August ballot They're thinking November because the increase would become effective in December. A disadvantage: Most of the voters in a typical November election haven't been following local issues and will vote No, so the General Fund would fall to zero next fiscal year. If not November, then we'll have to try February or May of 2013.
Commissioners Capello and Fournier asked questions whose intent could be understood by laymen. DuBuc began with an on-target question relating to what impact a successful millage might have on collective bargaining arbitration. Then he lost his way and asked several meandering questions which forced Johnson to go into esoteric detail not easily followed by laymen. I stopped counting after Kyle's 8th question.
Rasor moved into his occasional stubborn mode and asked the same question repeatedly despite attempts of Ellison and Capello to suggest it was an unfair and out-of-focus question. As the meeting ended, Capello praised Johnson for his excellent work. I would add another dimension of praise for his being able to maintain a neutral-to-smiling face through it all.
Reform-minded voters complain that restructuring of city government was not addressed.
Frank Versagi is the editor of Versagi Voice.