I just read an article in the Lansing State Journal reporting about the city council finally passing a budget amendment after a “special” meeting between the council and Mayor Bernero.

What stood out to me in that article was the following statement:

“Mayor Virg Bernero's push to pass a budget amendment that determines how the city will spend surplus money before the new fiscal year begins”

Surplus money, interesting.  The entire discussion around this amendment was how to spend surplus “taxpayer” money, not included was if the taxpayer dollars needed to be spent on the items they wanted to spend them on.

The article stated the “surplus” money would be spent on:

  • 650,000 to buy 10 new police patrol vehicles and an ambulance
  • $450,000 for facility improvements and street lighting
  • $300,000 for added security to the Information Technology Department and
  • $185,000 to reimburse the City Clerk's Office for unexpected election expenses.

There was no mention in the article if the above spending of taxpayer money was actually needed or if this was the city government spending the money because it was “surplus”.

Now the above mention spending of taxpayer money might actually be needed, but why not first explain to the reader of the article and/or the taxpayer that the taxpayer’s money is truly needed to be spent on the above items or not.  At that point the taxpayer and/or reader could then determine if the vote was right for the people and the city.

If the taxpayer dollars did not have to be spent on those items then why not put those funds in a rainy day fund or here is a novel idea give the money back to the taxpayers?

Let’s talk about this today on The Live with Renk Show which airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon. To let me know your thoughts during the show please call (269) 441-9595.

Or please feel free to start a discussion and write your thoughts in the comment section.