Friday, April 02, 2010
Will Ballard Use Citizens' Money To Balance City Budget?
Mayor Greg Ballard maintained in his initial announcement of the proposed sale of the water and wastewater utilities to Citizens Energy that all of the cash proceeds of the sale would be plowed into new sidewalks and street improvements. More recently, Ballard conceded he may use some of the money to pay for a new data processing system for public safety and fund economic development efforts. Ballard's administration has been spending like drunken sailors recently despite predictions that state reimbursement adjustments to the city will leave the city budget with a hole of $20 to $30 million. Ballard recently obtained council approval to spend $27 million on the purchase of new public safety vehicles, which effectively drained the city fund from which the funds are being appropriated. The administration claims the purchase will actually save taxpayers in the long haul.