Fugly Budget

Yup, it’s budget time, and is it any wonder that according to the Wylie News article published today, that Wylie City Manager Mindy Manson and her merry minions are reporting a budget shortfall of $173K.  Well just shut the front door.  Am I surprised at this perfectly timed report?  Nope. 

Do yourself a little favor and head online to the City of Wylie website.  Mosey on over to the finance department and take a gander or two at the budgets of last- and this year.  It looks to me like some fuzzy math has taken place in this year’s stab at the budget.  A few things shuffled here and there forcing a shortfall.  $173K is a drop in the bucket if you really think about it long and hard.  I could have told you all this was coming though, so let’s review a little history and make a few minute revelations.

This time last year, Mayor Eric Hogue and City Manger Mindy Manson, or MayMin as I like to call them, whined like sissies that we should spend rainy day funds to give the employees a 2% bonus.  Now remember back, after killing off a few brain cells with a beer or two I know it’s hard, how Mayor refused to call it a bonus, rather calling it a one-time incentive payment, or some such abstract nonsense.  You see, he didn’t want it called a bonus because he didn’t want the taxpayers of Wylie to vomit all over that idea. 

The word-smithing took place and we called Mayor to the carpet on it.  Not only did we call him to the carpet on the smoke and mirrors play on words, we called Mayor to the carpet on using rainy day funds to pay the bonus.  I don’t know what silly twit thought that was a good idea, but it wasn’t.  We discovered this only after Mindy Manson was forced to get an independent auditor opinion on our rainy day fund, and the truth finally came out.  The fact is the verbiage for a rainy day fund is that it is to be used for emergencies, and a bonus clearly is not.  It was also proven what percentage of our total budget should remain in the rainy day fund in order for our bond rating to remain healthy.  They planned to draw it down over the next several years to less than 19% and the auditor claimed we needed to keep it somewhere around 25%, memory don’t fail me now. 

Suffice to say, MayMin, the two headed monster, decided they would get Finance Director Linda Bantz to come up there and offer up the sacrificial lamb, so to speak.  She offered up the contingency fund, which is a fund for unexpected expenses not planned for in the budget.  Well I guess you could look at it last year as a sort of discretionary pot at the pleasure of MinMay and they continued to take hit after hit on that pot (damn I hope it was some good stuff), even doling out funds to a non-profit who begged for money.  This nonprofit was granted the cash and because they are pals of MinMay, they were not required to turn over their financials.  In fact no citizen has seen those financials as of this writing, interestingly enough. 

Fast forward to election time.  Fast forward to the befuddling Nathan Bubba Scott who ran on some sort of nonsensical platform of mature, professional and responsible leadership, and he couldn’t have used four words that define him less.  The man is immature, he beat up his wife and was arrested for it and had her write a letter to the editor of the newspaper explaining how it was her fault rather than take the blame for his own actions;  unprofessional, he lied about voting in the last presidential election and lost his cool at the candidate forum; irresponsible, he has been chased down by the court system for not paying child support, and he has a difficult time holding down a job; and a follower, at his first meeting he wanted to table a vote for Mayor Pro Tem until Mayor Hogue could make it back into town and, “make a responsible decision” for them.  The man is not a leader, he is an absolute baffling buffoon. 

Indeedy do, this bubba changed his platform midway through the election and told prospective voters that he wanted to lower taxes.  He did this because taxpayer after taxpayer complained about how high our taxes are.  We are the highest in the land by the way.  Um in other words, Bubba lied to voters.  Big surprise there and people like former Mayor Pro Tem Red Byboth and current Councilman Rick White would like you to believe that’s just plain politics and lying, stealing, and cheating for it is perfectly acceptable, even though it is not. 

In all reality, what Bubba Scott wants and has talked about for months, is to bring forth a bond for the 4th fire station, which is not needed because we do not actually have enough citizens, at 200 housing starts a year for the past handful of years, to warrant it.  It will ultimately increase our taxes, should a vote for bond pass, in order to pay for the thing.  

Scott is an absolute abject failure in the coveted responsible leadership role he so wanted people to believe he could fill.  In fact, I don’t believe he has ever held a role of leadership, nor much in the way of any tangible responsibility.  Well that is until the morons in Wylie voted him in office and placed him on the board of that ghastly group of agers known as WASA, Wylie’s Advocates for Senior Activities.  That group is nothing more than a political action committee seeking to get one of their own on council so they could suck more funds out of the taxpayers, and they were successful weren’t they?

This brings us to today.  I knew MinMay would begin their woe is me campaign to the slimy Wylie News in order to begin the fear mongering necessary to get citizens on board with the idea of a tax increase.  Oh, they will put off the Quints, a permanent raise for employees, and a 4th fire station another year but this time next year you can bet your butt those items will hit the budget, and they would have their unscrupulous tax increase to cover it all as well.  But of course, sympathy and fear mongering will be their ticket.  It was their ticket in rending the useless rubbish called Nathan Scott to the board.  They took advantage of a group of illiterate, simpletons that reside here in Wylie and pushed them into voting for a lie.

MinMay’s plan is simple.  Rather than use the income we had previously in a wise and thrifty manner, your City Council spent like they were Michael freaking Jackson in his later gluttonous years.  There was always that little adage they could fall back upon where they were not a for-profit entity.  I beg to differ.  They were, and should have always been mindful of our taxpayer dollars, and to include and consider as part of this mindfulness future expenditures years in advance.  Sadly, they did not.  They spent and hoped for forgiveness later.  Did they not know they were going to need new Quints in the future for the fire stations?  Of course they did, but they would rather spend and worry about it later.  In the best John Stossel I can muster, give me a break.  Mindy, as a person you are really a peach but as a City Manager, I believe Wylie has far outgrown you and toots, it’s time for you to be fired.  No hard feelings. 

You know, every other community around us has cut back, but for some reason Wylie refuses to do so.  We just have to put on the July Jubilee for a couple hundred people who show up out of 43K citizens.  We just have to keep staff levels the same.  Heaven forbid we do any real cutting of expenditures.    Sam Satterwhite’s salary  and total annual compensation are well North of this alleged $173K shortfall, why doesn’t he take his additional compensation and move it to the WEDCs balance sheet, instead of sucking the cash from the city along with the 1 cent of every tax dollar that heads into the WEDCs coffers.    Hells, his salary alone would cover the shortfall.  Then again, hows about letting go of some of the dead weight on staff?  Has anyone bothered to think of that?  I could name a few people, but I won’t publicly because I see no reason to berate a few employees at this point, and because MinMay know full well who they are fiercely protecting.  With growth in Wylie at a virtual standstill, I doubt we need quite as many staff members as we did, say 6 years ago, rather we continue to refuse the idea of letting go.  I have a difficult time believing there is no dead weight on staff.  There is ALWAYS dead weight.  Oh no, we want to hold fast to some sort of unrealistic ideal that we will be the only community that did not lay people off when times were tough.  Isn’t that what Mayor touted during the last budget season?  Heavens, perish the thought.  Just think of the feather in his cap as he attempts to run for some higher office. 

Sadly, we have nothing to look forward to except a group of seven individuals with varying levels of intelligence and education who are going to tackle this fugly budget.  I can only hope they seek the advice of someone other than Mindy Manson and Mayor Eric Hogue who seem to be leading us woefully astray.