"Who made the rule that there can be no Big Box stores or big businesses in Gladstone? Who ruled that it can only be made up of "key people in business, education, community - the movers and shakers"? I've seen firsthand what a few of the "movers and shakers" are capable of in this town and frankly I'm disappointed. Is there no room for the taxpayers to have a say in the direction our city goes in? We are still in trying economic times and Italian scooter rentals, art galleries and fudge shops will not save this town. While the idea is nice, it is also a pipe dream, as this area is not a "destination location." It is a struggling town like many across the country. You see people have to have disposable income to spend and there just isn't enough in our particular area to justify those businesses. I would like to see more businesses in Gladstone, but in today's economic times, many businesses can locate anywhere else in the country where there are lower taxes. Gladstone currently has a flat revenue stream. If you want more growth then you need to figure out how to make the revenue stream grow. Raising the already high rates will do more harm than good. Have any of you looked at all the for sale signs lately?
Anyone who uses the word "invest" with regards to our city's future is using a tactic to tax you more. I "invested" into my business however the business still owes me back for that investment. With some hard work, I should see that investment come back over the coming years. It is all my risk and my money involved. None of my "investment" came from the taxpayers. On the other hand, there is never any "investment" when it comes to taxes. They take and you hope they don't waste it. Look at any form of government and you can see ways to make it more efficient. Government can only exist by getting money from people who worked to earn it. It can only get that money if people allow them to. When I see wasteful spending by government I liken that to pilfering not investing.
Some people obviously don't get it when it comes to how our city works. If you want public safety, electricity, water, sewer, garbage and snow removal then you have to spend some money. But you don't have to spend more and more every year because incompetence or inefficient government. Quite simply, we need to hold our officials accountable for their actions.
I have to live within my means at home so why can't our city government do the same? When you spend too much and can't afford your bills then you have to sacrifice in order to get back on top. Common sense should rule the day. Raising our millage without public input or hearings thereby taxing and spending our way to success will not do that.