Jeeze... here's the type of 'stuff' that's going on around where *I* live... What does your local newspaper look like?
Neosho, little town about 13 miles from the huge metropolis of Joplin, MO.
Do you see these stories in your local paper too?
Due to the Great Recession it seems a little ways back that Neosho ran into some problems coming up with enough money to make payroll and meet other City obligations...
From the Joplin Globe: Officials confirm firing of Neosho city manager
City Manager, Jan Blase was hired by Neosho in May 2006, with city officials touting his credentials in urban planning and development. Blase had previous posts as a city administrator or a community development official in Forsyth, Nixa and Branson.
During his tenure, Neosho attracted $17 million in federal, state and private investment for a host of projects. Voters also passed three separate ballot measures totaling $21.5 million to finance transportation, water and sewer projects.
Blase also had become a target of criticism for what some charged to be overspending, lax oversight and mismanagement. The city had added positions in recent years, only to institute layoffs and pay cuts last year. Blase last month said the city faced a cash-flow “crisis,” and that additional borrowing and cuts, and perhaps a restored property tax, could be needed for the city to escape insolvency.
Blase had acknowledged that the city’s fund for general operations, excluding the golf course and water and sewer services, had borrowed from a state loan earmarked for construction of new airport hangars, and from hotel-motel tax revenue, water and sewer money, and sales taxes due to the city’s tax increment financing fund. The borrowing of the hotel-motel tax revenue formed the basis of misdemeanor charges of official misconduct filed earlier this month against Blase and former city Finance Director Bob Blackwood.
Jan Blase has said the city’s financial woes stemmed primarily from the recession and the city’s reliance on sales tax, a fluctuating revenue source for a city that is neither a tourist nor shopping destination. He also argued that he had been the subject of orchestrated political attacks, although he did not identify individuals.
Mr Blase has been 'relived of his duties'... What a relief it must be lol But, incredibly, I think he is considering appealing his firing and fighting to get his job back. These politicians really DO hate unemployment. Especially when it is they who are unemployed lol
So that's a brief little taste of what has been going on in Neosho, MO lately lol
The point that *I* would like to make with this post is how close the City of Neosho's 'answers' are to the decisions being made by our kleptocratic government on the national level...
You see Neosho's 'problem' seems to be that they do not have enough money to pay for City projects with huge cost overruns, pension fund obligations, payroll! lol
So it appears their 'answer' to these problems is going to be...
1> Borrow 1.3 MILLION dollars... Seems they are going to HAVE to borrow money to avoid defaulting on their debt... Becoming that nasty 'insolvent' word... They have some really cool way they can do it WITHOUT voter approval too lol It's something called Certificates of Participation (Certainly SOUNDS wonderful enough ;) And somehow magically that allows the City to 'take on additional debt' with only a vote of the City council. How convenient for them that no voter 'participation' is required huh? lol
2> Come up with, someday... maybe... $300,000.00 in something really strange called 'spending cuts'. I HAVE heard of those... though I'm not real sure if I have ever actually SEEN any of them lol
3> BORROW an additional $425,000.00 (Gee... that's more than the 'proposed' spending 'cuts' right there... Something about that seems a little strange ;)
4> Raise taxes and or create brand new taxes that don't even exist right now... Seems the 'City' of Neosho has NO property tax. So they're talking about adding one, to get some money from people... pesky tax payers anyway... Of course at least a portion of the additional 'borrowing' will be shouldered by tax payers as well...
It seems the City feels that 'borrowing' another 1.75 MILLION dollars and raising/creating taxes will "create an environment" in which the 'city' and a 'planning committee' could START charting a course for long-term financial stability...
START?! Where TF have they been up to now? What? Have they been 'charting a course' for long-term financial INSTABILITY up till now?! Apparently so lol Like SO many other towns, cities, counties, states and governments everywhere lol
But on to those 'proposed' spending cuts for a moment...
It appears who they want to kill, oops... I mean cut... "a combination of spending reductions in the police, fire and parks and recreation departments, and from something called 'deferred grant projects'
My point here is that tax revenue has collapsed all over the country in just about any little burg you want to look at. Tax revenue has collapsed and is still collapsing at every level of government! It seems that every level of government has over spent, over borrowed, according to them, under-taxed and now they are ALL paying the price at once.
It doesn't take much of a leap to push the actions being taken by the city of Neosho onto the national scene...
The obama administration has put a massive effort into protecting state level government union jobs from the ravages of this recession. Those same policemen, fire fighters, teachers and auto workers. If you are fortunate enough to be a union member you likely have been holding up better than most of the rest of America...
But cuts will become mandatory even on the national level at some point... Especially as they continue to take the same actions as the city of Neosho.
Which is to 'borrow your way out of debt'...
Thank God for China's willingness to loan the United States money FOREVER with no expectation of ever being repaid... lol
Look around people... The markets look great don't they? And the talking heads on TV seem to think 'things' are improving, though slowly.
Look around a little. Look at your own cities finances, your states finances.
Maybe there are even some good ones out there.
But somehow I just don't think so...
insolvency: n. 1) the condition of having more debts (liabilities) than total assets which might be available to pay them, even if the assets were mortgaged or sold. 2) a determination by a bankruptcy court that a person or business cannot raise the funds to pay all of his/her debts. The court will then "discharge" (forgive) some or all of the debts, leaving those creditors holding the bag and not getting what is owed them.