Conservative Viewpoints

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



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Reynolds battles Williams, citizens during contentious meeting

Posted by Stephen on May 14, 2007

“That’s no way to conduct yourself at a public meeting,” scolded Tom Reynolds after citizens of Waynesboro applauded a speaker who was critical of the decision of the majority on council to fund the Wayne Theatre to the tune of 300 thousand dollars in 08 and an additional 700 thousand dollars over the next ten years.

The public comment period was just another example of an evening that included a large number of citizens opposed to funding the Wayne with tax payer money being disregarded by a majority on city council that long ago decided this venture would come to fruition. Sadly, this council cares little about what citizens want.

There were many calls for the Wayne to be put on a ballot but the ‘tax and spend on special interest’ group that makes up the majority on council would hear none of it, instead choosing to ignore the calls by citizens while Reynolds played a combative role with citizens. He continued to play a confrontational role with citizens with little attempt to listen to the cries of constituents asking for responsible government.

One of the more interesting moments came when Councilman Tim Williams stated that he was concerned about the growing list of items contained in the CIP. The cost of the CIP has grown from 17.5 million dollars to more than 28 million dollars since January, according to Williams. Williams added that he was troubled by the idea that the city was set to borrow nearly 8 million dollars to jump start the CIP. “We could have lowered the amount of money the city is borrowing had we not spent a million dollars on the Wayne,” added Williams.

Reynolds took exception to the comments stating that, “the Wayne isn’t on the CIP.”

“I realize that,” explained Williams, “but had we not spent the money on the Wayne we wouldn’t have to borrow so much for the CIP.”

“…but the Wayne isn’t on the CIP. The items on the CIP are listed right here and they total 7.5 million dollars…” clarified Reynolds.

“I understand, but we would be able to reduce the amount we are borrowing had we used the money we spent on the Wayne for capital improvements,” Williams stated in an attempt to further explain what Reynolds could not grasp.

The difficulty of the exchange is that Reynolds could not understand that money being spent on the Wayne could be money being spent on the CIP therefore reducing the amount of items on the list which would reduce the amount of funds needed to complete the plan.

On the night there was not one individual that came to the podium to speak that supported tax dollars being spent on the Wayne. One citizen provided a petition against the Wayne with more than 700 signatures. Still, the majority on this council have long ago distinguished themselves as having one plan to raise revenue in Waynesboro; raise taxes and borrow money.

Stephen Winslow is the executive editor of Conservative Viewpoints.

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