Council hopefuls questioned over services, taxes
We are fast approaching election day for McCook’s City Council. I am concerned about some of the following issues and you should be too:
1. Tree limbs and brush are piled on streets and in alleys waiting for the City to pick them up. It is frequent that these piles are left 3 or 4 weeks or more before the City gets around to removing them. It was not this way in the past. I have always hauled my own brush directly to the brush pile, but not everyone can. Our City needs to be kept clean of such piles and I would like to know what each candidate would do to address such poor service.
2. I have read in the McCook Gazette over time about its financial issues.
The City got a loan to purchase much needed modern breathing apparatus for the fire department. The water department loaned between $700,000 and $800,000 to other departments which is to be paid back eventually. Even with this much cash on hand, the City Council voted to raise our water rates.
The Public Safety Center is paid for so now there is a push not to give the taxpayers the benefit of the reduced debt payment and to have another major project to replace it. City employees are given cost of living raises that are above the cost of living increases as determined by the Federal government. The total indebtedness of our City has never been published as far as I know.
The County Assessor had a massive increase in real estate property values a year ago which gave the City a windfall tax increase. The mill levy was not reduced, but my office building assessment was increased by 93% and so were my taxes increased as much.
One candidate has already expressed his opinion that more sources of revenue need to be found. How will each of the candidates restore responsible financial practices so that McCook can become an affordable place for people to live and work here?
Each of us must ask these 5 candidates to lay out how they will make changes for responsible city government. McCook’s future depends in part on the answer to these questions.
Dr. Mike Nielsen,