Cresthill’s In trouble
1) I was able to get some information about the recent decline in the City’s financial health that the Mayor keeps referencing without giving any details. Apparently, the City is facing a $1,500,000 budget deficit. No details of how this occurred have yet come to light however.
2) Some people may question my background in criticizing those who oversee our City’s finances or question what makes me think I know better than these professionals how to manage a City’s finances. While, I certainly cannot claim to have more experience than any of those professionals except for the City Administrator (I have two years of experience as opposed to his few months), I instead rest upon my past accomplishments as a City Treasurer and a City Administrator for a different city. While, it was smaller than Crest Hill, its financial difficulties at the time I was hired exceeded those faced by Crest Hill. They were in debt to their debt limit, had issued short term revenue bonds in order to keep operating, and were in the process of deciding which city services to cut. Two years later, I left a city that was on firm financial footing, had completed and was in the process of completing a number of large infrastructure improvement projects. I did not shrink the budget and I raised taxes at a slower rate than inflation. What I did do was reduce costs for outside services such as legal fees, audit costs, and engineering fees. I also increased revenue by bidding out the City’s back accounts to the various banks in the area in order to receive the best package of interest rates and eliminate all fees. In addition, I pursued state funds aggressively and reached agreements that ensured the the state prison in town would cover every cost associated with it from costs of utility extensions to road paving. City services were maintained and in many cases improved as employee morale increased along with the City’s financial stability. Also, our water, sewer, and electric systems were in better shape than ever before and ready for growth. So, I think I have some experience behind me when I criticize others. Sure, it is only two years of experience, but compared to where a Treasurer with 20 years of experience has gotten us, I think I stand up pretty well.