The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Monday, November 19, 2007

Pay Up, Bessemer

More Bessemer money woes. Birmingham News

David Sullivan, the attorney for the Bessemer School Board, is set to sue the city of Bessemer if the city does not pay $3.4 million in sales tax revenue owed for over a year.

Bessemer is having a hard time making payroll, if recent council, city clerk wait, we don't have a city clerk...uh, senior accountant acting as a city clerk... yeah, that's it...anyway, his actions, are any indication. And now we are reminded the city can not meet its obligations to the school system?

Superintendent Deborah Horn says the money would be used to hire extra teachers for music and art. A worthy and much needed use of the money.

This is just one more reason we need an audit of the city's finances done by the state. Why does the city not put this money away as sales taxes are collected, into an account and let it sit and draw interest until the payment is due to the school system. Then the money would be there to make the payment. What a novel idea.

Eventually every juggler drops a ball, and it looks like the jesters in city hall who are juggling the city finances have done just that. And while court jesters' roles were to entertain the king, when the king becomes the jester the entertainment stops. You don't see anyone laughing, do you?

(the painting is by Mateo, an artist friend in Mobile)

As much as education is talked about. With Jess Lanier High School being labeled a dropout factory. And then we expect improvements to be made with $3.4 million in funds being withheld from their budget?

Maybe it 's not the school board's fault that our schools are not up to standard. Maybe it is the city council and mayor's fault for not suporting the board and the system.

Oh, and the school system also has not received property tax payments from earlier this year. I wonder how much that is?

I know council president Jesse Matthews is getting the message. Unless he has something to hide, he should be calling for an audit soon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The School Board should have received approximately $2.1 million from the City last February. That is the time of year when the city's tax revenues are at their highest level and the city is able to afford making such a large payment. The year before that, the payment was made as promised to the School Board. It wasn't easy, but then again, there were people in place willing to keep their promises and do what's right, even if it wasn't easy. Unfortunaely, those people no longer work for the City.

Now, the May Administration has reverted to the old, familiar ways of the Mitchell Administration, probably because they have the same people (or types of people) advising them, can you say William Bell???

Seems that along the way May figured out ther old adage you scratch mine and I'll scratch yours. Sadly,while he and his buddies haver been busy scratching each other, they've forgotten to meet the city's obligations. No money for the School Board, no money for water line extensions to Alabaster, but plenty of money to buy everybody a new car, pay fees to high priced Attorneys & consultants, create boondoggle paving departments, etc. It is pure insanity and, worst of all, those who should know better sit back silently and let it happen.

The Council controls the Finances of the City, not the Mayor. The Council sets policy for the City, not the Mayor. But the Council doesn't seem to know what it's doing, so May and his high paid mouthpieces just keep on doing whatever they want.

Frankly, it may well be too late for this administration to recover. As everyone may recall, May loved to bring out in the campaign how he was saddled with a $1.8 million deficit when he took over from Mitch. A year ago, that deficit was paid down. But now, it seems like May is setting the next Mayor and Council up for an even bigger surprise.

Of course, he could always sell the Water System. After all, his attorneys are also the attorneys for the Birmingham Water Board and they've had their eyers on our water system for many years now. Yeah, that would solve everything, at least for the Mayor and everyone else benefiting from the proceeds of the sale. But Bessemer, we will have lost once again, and may, at that point, be lost forever.