Conservative Viewpoints

"Government is not the solution…it is the problem" -Ronald Reagan

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Get Ready Waynesboro, the spending spree is about to begin

Posted by Stephen on March 23, 2007

Waynesboro City Council is about to allocate 1 million dollars for the Wayne Theatre Alliance. No matter that just a couple of weeks ago council discussed transferring the property over to the WTA, because before that happens they want to be sure and provide them with a going away present in the form of your tax payer dollars.

During the past election season Lorie Smith, Nancy Dowdy, and even Mayor Tom Reynolds went out of their way to condemn then Councilman Reo Hatfield and current members of council Tim Williams and Frank Lucente for politicizing the issue. Smith, Dowdy, and Reynolds publically stated that the Wayne Theatre would not be an issue. They repeated time and time again that tax payer funds would not go toward the theatre project.

People trusted them. Voters took them at their word. Some contributors wrote checks to the WTA after receiving assurances that the Wayne Theatre would not accept tax payer funds for the project. That trust is being paid back in the form of an allocation of funds to the WTA despite a formal resolution by council stating that the Waynesboro City Council would not be a primary financial contributor to any private enterprise.

What was also clear is that Smith, who was handpicked by WTA Board President Bill Hausrath to run against Hatfield, and Dowdy never took it off their radar screen despite their political campaign rhetoric.

Dowdy, for one, wants to spend even more on the project. Reports from a source close to the issue state that Dowdy will request that Joe and Jane tax payer also fund operating expenses for the Wayne Theatre for at least its first year in operation. She’s not the only one finding new ways to spend tax dollars.

Not more than thirty days ago WTA Board President Bill Hausrath stated in a meeting in his office that he would never ask for tax payer funds stating he was to proud to return for such a request after being rejected previously. It seems that his position has changed as well.

“There’s no way this project can succeed without council support,” said Hausrath.

Hausrath will be able to maintain that he is not requesting funds at this time and therefore not contradicting his own statements. There has been no formal request of council to allocate the funds, but this city council is not concerned with such details. Spending tax payer dollars in a reckless fashion on special interest projects is something they are very comfortable doing.

The first meeting of the current council saw Reynolds, Dowdy, and Smith support the notion that tax payers and city government should be in the business of publishing books to the tune of $25,000. Councilman Tim Williams was able to stave off the attempted spending measure just to see council settle on more than $7,000 for the project.

Not satisfied with small projects such as publishing books with tax payer funds, the city turned its focus on the repair and renovation of buildings it does not own. Unfortunately, the more than $200,000 allocated for this renovation project of a building the city leases isn’t to assist the working poor or some other righteous cause to help citizens that are struggling. That, perhaps, could be defendable. This measure, which exists within the fine lines of the Capital Improvement Plan, is for the building for the Office of Tourism. It is a dilapidated building that the city leases.

Citizens must ask why the city would spend tax payer dollars on a dilapidated building in the first place. However, even more puzzling is the fact that the owner and landlord is not being asked to foot the bill. Why are tax payers expected to fund a renovation project for a building owned by a private citizen?

It is clear that the spending spree has just begun. After all, this council is sitting on more than 540,000 dollars in surplus funds. Furthermore, they seem giddy with anticipation of the windfall of tax dollars they might be able to secure by saddling homeowners with 40% increases in real estate assessments.

It goes without saying that the reckless nature of tax and spend philosophies never see an empty well. This city council considers tax payer funds to be fair game. While tax dollars should be considered a precious commodity, this city council sees them as their personal playground to be used for whatever strikes their fancy.

Sadly, there is little understanding of economic planning. This city council ignores the concept of scarcity and refuses to see tax funds as a finite resource. While people like Smith, and even Dowdy, suggested that they believed in a process driven government based on planning and fiscal responsibility, their actions illustrate a failure to pass economics 101. Now the tax payers are forced to pay the price for a defiant group on city council that show little regard for their responsibilities as stewards of your hard earned dollars.

Stephen Winslow is the executive editor of Conservative Viewpoints.


One Response to “Get Ready Waynesboro, the spending spree is about to begin”

  1. Reo Hatfield said

    Welcome to the world of Politics.

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