Monday, December 6, 2010


A week ago today Canton City Council bought into deepening the financial crisis that besieges Canton city government.

Cantonians have to thank God for having one Republican on Council to act as a conservative conscience on the runaway Democrat spenders on Council, no?

Well, not exactly.  In fact, Canton is spending less and less on government because revenue collections from the city's income tax is falling, falling and falling more.

However, it is fiscally improvident and irresponsible for Canton to be taking capital improvement funds and putting them in day-to-day operations (police and fire in this instance).  It is truly astounding to hear Law Director Martuccio (see video at end of this blog) that whereas local law mandates a 75% to 25% between general fund and capital improvements split; Council has - over the years since Canton implemented an income tax - provided for 14 exceptions to the 25% capital improvement allocation through November 28, 2010 and then on the 29th added a 15th exception.

Butterworth did do the right thing in voting no on the 15th exception.

Councilman Hawk did speak out against the practice of making greater and greater inroads into capital improvement monies as a shift to general fund day-to-day operations.  

But should Cantonians be impressed by Hawk's rhetoric?  No!  The saying:  "actions speak louder than words."  What are Hawk and his finance committee members doing vis-a-vis Mayor Healy and his administration to stop this "robbing Peter to pay Paul" operation that is in full stride in Canton's financial operations these days.  

Answer:  absolutely nothing!!!

Words, mere words is all Cantonians are getting.  And he has ten other Democrats following his lead.  Democrat officials get upset about being tagged with being financially irresponsible.  But how else is this Canton City Council action to be tagged?

One of the highly important needs of an city is to have capital improvement funds with which to make infrastructure improvements required by new and relocating businesses if the businesses are going to (with their income tax-producing jobs) decide to call Canton home.

To the degree that capital improvement funds get eroded, so does Canton's capability to make Canton an attractive option to businesses seeking locales for new or expanding business.  While police and fire functions are vitally important, Canton must find other ways to fund these operations.  Cutting into the bone of the city by taking from capital improvement funds is a dangerous move in terms of Canton's economic future viability.

In the video that accompanies this blog, the SCPR interviews Mayor Healy on his view about creating the 15th exception to take from capital improvement monies and shifting them to day-to-day operations.  As readers of The Report know, yours truly has never met a more crafty political spin artist than Mayor Healy in making what he deems to be important as being sound reasoning and therefore the thing to do.

As readers will see, Healy does not disappoint in terms of his spin- making ability.  He shifts the topic away from the enduring to the temporary in insinuating that stimulus monies and road paving projects financed by the one-time money somehow cures the removal of bone from the Canton body politic and the damage it does to Canton's economic future.

There couldn't be a clearer picture of the the financial and economic damage that is insidiously being done.  But does Healy put on a good show?  He does.

While the big fuss at last week's meeting was whether to amend the city building code to provide for mandatory inspections at dramatically increased fees (and these inspections are highly important if Canton is to get rid of its slums), the vote on the transfer of funds from capital improvements to day-to-day general fund obligations is a "fly beneath the radar" operation that cuts into Canton's ability to turn its economic future around.

Shame on Council and shame on Mayor Healy for aiding and abetting the demise of Canton's future!!!

Here is the promised video.

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