The story is as old as any in local government history. As the city staggers under the largest debt they have ever incurred at 61.8 million dollars, (see Moody’s Report City of GR on this page), with expenditures close to 22 million dollars per year and fees and charges for services at near or exceeding 5 million dollars, equaling what will be collected this year in property taxes. Your total city taxes have doubled as another city administrator flees the scene. This current chain of events should not come as any great surprise.
The City of Grand Rapids has become bloated with personnel for a city anywhere near it’s size. Did this happen as a pathway to better services or for political clout and financial reward of the participants?
When these folks come out of today’s higher education institutions they are well educated in civics, controlled statistical analysis, political science and media manipulation. There is no mistaking government in this country is big business and those that participate are making bundles while you get left with the bill. Take time to examine the file on this page marked, (City and County Retirees amounts on this page), and take note of the monthly retirement amounts that your local government retirees receive. Add to this amount their Social Security benefits, health insurance, dental and life plans. Now you’re wondering why you have all these fees and charges and property taxes while your mayor spends a large part of his day playing cards at the club house you built for him! Free golf for city employees under wellness care, as it was spun to the public, are you kidding? This does not qualify under wellness care so I can only assume it was done to buy votes. That is the issue at what price and what method do we buy votes, ah the true job of the city administrator.
These administrators have no statutory authority in Minnesota law, rather are most likely an invention of the League of Mn. Cities to circumvent going to the electorate and letting the people vote on whether or not they want a managerial form of government or a city clerk, city council, weak mayor form of government, This is in fact what we have in place in Grand Rapids at present. If the city council and mayor are so weak, so lazy, that they need someone to do their job, they should follow the correct path under the law and go to the voters and ask them do you want the present mayor council system or a managerial form of government. This contrived name “city administrator” should be called what it is, “paid spin artist with no statutory authority,” hired to allow the city council and mayor shed the obligations of their office while promoting their various agendas.
It’s time to ask the voters if they want a city manager form of governance or not. If yes, fine, if not, have the city council and mayor get back to work. That’s what you’re paying these folks for, not to be prom queens looking good at the clubhouse.