Deceitful Spin – or outright lies, whichever.

I was beginning an article about the corruption indictments that made the news the other day when I decide to document another example of deceptive spin to reference in that article.  This incident occurred during council’s discussion on blackmailing the school system.
If that were to occur today that would be impactful because we have no dedicated
revenue to take on that a couple hundred thousand dollar a year expense.  

So that expense was taken on basically from the general fund.  

So we're just depleting general fund dollars to maintain that payment.  

Because there's no dedicated revenue for it.  

So we're not collecting tax or not collecting millage or anything on that value.  

We're just basically extracting it from what we already collect.
Background:  Since 1996 when the city took over the Water Utility, the City has made a payment to the school system, equal to the taxes the water utility would have made to the schools.  In this video excerpt of the discussion about the PILOT payment, the City Manager tells council that these payments are depleting the General Fund.

This seemed very odd to me, since taxes would be a legitimate expense of the water department and should be paid from water and sewer funds.  Turns out the PILOT payment are being paid from the Water and Sewer Funds.  Though these funds may have to pass through the General Fund before the check is cut to the school, those funds could not be diverted to other General fund expenses like paying staff or buying office equipment.  The City Manager's description of these payments as being a drain on the City's General fund is a total fabrication made up as an excuse to justify council's attempt to blackmail the school board. 

On the other hand, the city has also been paying itself a PILOT payment equal to the amount the water utility would have paid in taxes to the city.  In this case, money you thought was going to pay water expenses is being transferred to the General fund so the city can pay for things like banners and council trips.

Here are excerpts from the confirmation emails:

Here are the calculations for a recent year:

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Deceitful Spin - hiding a $5,000 fee increase