Thursday, December 13, 2007

On the 2008 Phoenixville budget

As it is every two years, the new Council will have a honeymoon period.

I have a few suggestions before they take their seats.

Phoenixville's Borough Council will approve the 2008 budget at the December 20, 2007meeting. Published sources state a 14.87% overall property tax rate increase; a 3.5%rise in water and sewer rates, and a trash fee of $69 payable quarterly.

After the swearing-in meeting in January, the newly seated Council will have 45 days in which to re-open the borough budget. If one of the new Council's goals is to restore credibility to Borough Hall, several blatantly obvious items should be considered in order to achieve that goal.

1. A request for proposals should be drafted for an independent audit of the finances of the Borough. The language should also include the option for ordering a forensic audit if needed.

2. The need for a performance audit was recognized in the late 1990's. I'm not aware of a study ever having been done. Start with the Borough Manager.

3. Re-visit the contract with the CDC by drafting an RFP for an outside firm to do grant writing and administration thereof. If there exists a potential to conduct this work at less than half the current cost, Council MUST be fiscally responsible and examine the alternatives to the existing contract with the CDC. Council members, as representatives of the residents of Phoenixville must return their focus to delivering a product which provides the needed service at the least cost to taxpayers. Personally, I find it shocking and deplorable to read comments by Council Members who are publically balking and issuing negative comments before the issue has been reseached. Common sense should dictate the need to save tax dollars where ever possible. Boards and commissions exist purely at the discretion of Council. The CDC is no different from any other group created by Borough Council. I simply cannot understand the mind set of the current Council on this issue.

In order for the honeymoon to last more than a few weeks, Council's collective attitude must shift to representing the PEOPLE of this community and THEIR best interest.


Anonymous said...

I think that the whole CDC thing has gotten personal - Barry can't stand the Borough Mgr. and visa versa. Unfortunately, their bad blood is going to hurt the citizens & business owners of Phoenixville.

Anonymous said...

power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely, all boards, commissions, and councils should stay focused on what their mission statement is.

Refugee said...

Borough Mgr is unprofessional, never delivers on what he is tasked with, and runs the place like a rookie. i think we should follow his lead and dismantle CDC based upon his wisdom, track record, etc.

/the guy needs to go