McMasters for Council?

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Will you support my running for Huber Heights City Council?
I often listen to the recording of City Council meetings while driving.  The one nice thing about the pandemic was I didn’t drive to work and often did not subject myself to the frustration that comes with paying attention to your City Council. 
Over the past couple of months, I listen to more of the meetings.  This prompted this effort to try to make them better.  It takes 50 nominating signatures from eligible voters in order to get on the ballot.  I will need those signatures before Friday.  You can make this task easier by sending an email asking me to bring the petition over to your house.  My email address is Tom_McMasters@HuberResidents.org
 

 
What Issues does Huber Heights City Council need help with?
The answer to that question returned once again to; transparency and how to wisely spend resident’s money. 
 
Two recent meetings provide good context to have a discussion on both finances and transparency.  The Dec 6, 2022 Council Work Session is extremely long.  I will sum up the discussion later but a summation is not as good as a full listen to recognize the depth of Mayor Gore’s deception.  The Dec 15, 2022 City Council meeting contained five agenda items that make sense for a candidate for council to address and I will use those items as an outline.



Here are links that go directly to the meetings:  Dec 15, 2022 City Council Special Meeting   Dec 6, 2022 Work Session

Dec 6, 2022 Work Session.  This two hour discussion boils down to the Mayor and Staff believe that spending our money on the development of the apartments, strip mall and possible additional city buildings on Brand Pike is more important than addressing the water infrastructure issues residents have been suffering the past couple of years.  Obviously, my position is on the side of infrastructure. The real issue was not that there were two competing desires for how to spend our money.  The real issue was the Mayor and staff spent two hours making deceptive arguments against why the city could not address the water issue in order to avoid having to say they believe the apartment project is more important.   

Dec 15, 2022 City Council Special Meeting:

Agenda 10 A.  An Ordinance to Increase the Water Rates:

The raising of the water rates resulted from the Mayor essentially winning the argument that the city should be building apartments, strip malls and more city buildings instead of strengthening our water infrastructure (and roads etc).  My position on this is that this council should have done what other councils in the past have done.  That is go to the residents and ask them if they would be willing to fund new City Buildings.  Remember when I came into office in 2014, we already had the money in the bank to build the new fire station on Old Troy Pike road.  That money was there because the 2004 City Council went to residents and got them to fund that project. 

That is completely opposite to how this Mayor and this Council operate.  In fact, this Council did not reveal they were putting $3.7 million into the project until the night they approved funding of the project.  Since that time, they have dedicated millions more to the project. Yet, if you go on the City website you will not find any page dedicated to letting us know; total cost so far, the amount of revenue expected, or future costs.

Agenda 11F.  An Ordinance Providing For The Continuation Of An Existing .25 Percent Levy On Income

Agenda 11 G.  A Resolution Specifying May 2, 2023 As The Date For Submitting To The Electorate Of The City Of Huber Heights A Proposal To Provide For The Continuation Of An Existing .25% Levy On Income

This is a renewal levy and if you watch the video, you get the impression that even Councilman Otto thinks this will pass just because everyone votes yes on renewal levies.  However, this levy does not expire until 2025.  My position is that residents should not renew this levy in May.  If you recall, in 2014 the City debated whether to increase the income tax.  My position then was that the recession was about to end and the deficits the city had seen the couple years before would cease without the extra tax.  That proved to be the case and the City fund balances grew more than the amount that was projected in additional revenue from the tax increase. 

Unfortunately, the City went on a spending binge since 2018 and by 2020 staff was warning that they would deplete the General Fund by 2025.  Fortunately, for the City’s finances the State provided enormous amounts of additional cash to the city because of Covid and the fund balances are high.  But that does not make up for the decisions that lead to the problem in the first place.  In fact, the General Fund balance is higher than it has ever been, which would indicate that perhaps a tax decrease might make sense.  However, as the Mayor and staff tried to make you believe Dec 6th, there's not enough money to fix important infrastructure. 

Too many decisions are made behind closed doors.  Until, the Mayor brings back strong read ahead materials for agenda items that will allow the public to understand the financial decisions council makes, until there is an effort to provide the details in a concise manner for projects such as what is happening around the new library, I believe we should not be voting yes on continuing this levy. 



H.  A Resolution Modifying Community Reinvestment Area #5 By Reducing The Boundaries Thereof.

I.  A Resolution Providing For The Second And Final Amendment Of Community Reinvestment Area #7.
Community Reinvestment Areas are a suspension of property taxes.  These are meant as tax incentives to spur economic development.  Used correctly, they can be an effective tool for our residents.  There needs to be an in-depth discussion on if they are being used in the best way to benefit our residents. 

Here are a couple of screen shots of how to get to the video recordings of these and other City meetings.  First go to HHOH.org and select Government then
Meeting Information.   It comes up with this month’s meetings.  Select the month and year, then hit Find Meetings.  












You can click on the red arrows to get the specific agenda item you would like to listen to. 

Note:  I am not the conspiracy theorist that would believe council directed the company that creates the index to not specifically list the individual Pending Items like they do for the New Business but I am disappointed that the screen shot to the left does not have this listed:
An Ordinance Increasing The Water Rates In Section 934.02 Of The Codified Ordinances Of Huber Heights. (first reading) 













 

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