Bob Thomas says “Show Me the Plan!

forum pic TTUBy Bob Montgomery Thomas

In an apparent April Fool joke attempt, Mayor Sue Kay appeared before the Weymouth town council along with the CFO on April 1 to ask for its support of her proposed meals tax increase of .075% (3/4 of 1%), which would bring the effective tax on prepared foods to 7%.  That’s not a lot of money – just 75 cents on a $100 meal.  Still, the “plan” she presented was highly suspect.

 According to the local paper she was quoted in on March 12 – and alleged state projections that no one that I know of asked for – the increase would help raise $500,000 annually to pay for the maintenance of the town’s recreation fields and costs to upgrade them.  Kay promised the council that the money would be earmarked and not used for any other purpose unless it was an emergency, in which case she said she would have to return to the council to re-appropriate the money to other uses.

 However, the proposal she submitted, to accept MGL c. 64L §2, contained no such guarantee, other than her word, of how the money would be spent because state law does NOT allow local aid revenues to be earmarked.  The extra taxes would be submitted to the state by food vendors and the state would then return the funds to the town as local aid.  This was NOT a menu override she was proposing, where monies are expended for restricted purposes: this was just her solemn, unwritten, unenforceable promise.

 And she promised over and over, from the bottom of her heart – at least six times – that she would NOT deviate from her plan.  Yet, she adamantly refused to put anything in writing.  Why not?

 And so where or what was her plan: to throw more money hither and yon, like the Emery Mistake, to see if any of it would stick to a wall somewhere to make her management style look like it made any sense?  This mayor doesn’t show me a thing.  I’ve overheard many say that she’s in over her head.  The ones who don’t are likely in some sort of stupor – or may just be fawning mayoral appointees.

 To be candid and honest, I was her only opponent in the last election; so maybe I’m a bit prejudiced – but really I’m not – I’m just stating facts.  I’m just Bob Monty being Bob Monty… I got my campaign donations the old fashioned way: from my bank account.  She received close to $10,000 from the town’s waste disposal contractor – through straw donors no less – and many, many more $thousands from other out-of-town special interests.

 Kay told the reporter the “revenue” from the proposed meals tax would be “used to hire a supervisor to maintain the parks and fields in addition to keeping the fields in good condition” – which is redundant – just like the job might be.  I’d hazard that this proposed supervisor would cost $100K a year with benefits, pension and OPEB contributions, plus a new truck and riding mowers that likely would sit idle between playing seasons – as might this “supervisor” and his or her staff.

© Copyright 2013 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed