Current Common Council Members Push Blame on Past Council Members for Doing and Saying the Very Same Things They Do and Say
I’ve had a number of posts on how our local pundits, commentators, editors and politicos misinform and misrepresent the City of Amsterdam financials. But no one quite masters it like the current Council and their supporters.
As the latest installment of this financial kabuki , please read the story here (City aldermen taking a look at project list) . Here is the salient part:
Russo said he is not sure if the whole $3 million would be bonded this year and that more cuts may need to be made. However, he said he is shocked by the state of the infrastructure and that many projects are a priority.
“It is unbelievable,” he said. “But the longer you let these things go, the worse it is and more expensive.”
Barone said he has never seen anything like it and expressed frustration with previous councils that let the projects fall by the wayside.
What the current Council wants you to believe is that the reason we have such a desperate need for capital projects is that the previous councils did not do their job. “How could they let this happen?!”, they exclaim.
Meanwhile the current Council and their supporters constantly demand that the city assume no debt and spend no money. Moreover they constantly remind the public that the city is $24 million in debt and we have no idea what our fund balance is. I don’t think I’m overstating when I say that there is a constant drumbeat on these points: $24 million in debt, no spending, no new debt, what’s our fund balance.
The finger pointing to the previous councils is wholly laughable if not for the fact that a good chunk of the public actually buys into this. Kool-Aid anyone?
If previous councils had actually addressed capital projects, do you know what would actually happen to the city’s financials? The fund balance today would unquestionably be lower and total debt today would unquestionably be higher; in other words, the current council wants you to believe that city residents can have it both ways: more capital improvements and less debt. Don’t be a tool and believe this– it’s financial fiction.
Let’s remember that this council has made no secret in claiming how untenable a state the city finds itself financially and demanding that the city reduce its debt with its constant drumbeat on the $24 million figure.
When now faced with the very unpleasant reality handed to them by previous councils who adopted the very same talking points and very same fiscal decisions as they themselves advocate and adopt, they now point the finger at them not themselves.
Guess what Council? You can’t address capital projects without increasing the city’s debt.
So set the record straight, either:
–admit you’re not investing in capital projects and you’re willing to let the failure to do so impact the city negatively with fines on compliance and further erosion of essential infrastructure
— fund capital projects and increase the city’s debt
You’ve managed to delude some folks into believing that you can simultaneously address capital projects and reduce the city’s debt.
Let’s see how the Council’s talking points mesh with their actual fiscal decision making.