An ordinance relating to the municipal income tax and amending Ordinance No. 40-72. (Sponsored by Kessler) This ordinance amends Section 39.50 of the Tipp City Municipal Code relating to income tax reduction.
These are the words on the agenda that brought out approximately 80 concerned citizens to Monday evening’s City Council meeting.
Keeping the proceedings in order, President of Council Pat Hale read through the ordinance and allowed citizens to know “how things were going to proceed” tonight in regards to this ordinance.
In a surprise move, Councilman Kessler made a motion to table the ordinance that he himself sponsored. Kessler continued, stating that he has heard from many residents that they do not like the idea, and he wants more time to deliberate the issue. Councilman Beagle quickly seconded the motion to table the issue until November 2nd. This action caused some commotion with the law director as well as President of Council as they deliberated silently the surprise action.
Mayor Tim Evans stated that “the residents have asked us to work through the $500,000 in recommendations to tighten our belts; however we must invest these dollars in infrastructure.” Evans stated that he was “looking to listening to citizens comments and seeks to table the issue until alternatives have been identified.”
Councilman Beagle seconds Tim’s comments, requesting “more discussion, more time and more options be made before any decisions.”
Councilwoman Gillis stated that she does not want to see this tabled, and that we need to “deal with this issue head on.” President Pat Hale concurred.
Councilman Lovett proclaimed that “the number of people in the room tells us that the citizens care” and that “band-aid approaches, kick the can down the road, will have a continuing deteriorating quality of life.” “Please engage with us now with discussions in a constructive manner.”
Council moved for a vote to table the issue until after the Capital Improvements meeting in October and schedule to next speak on November 2nd. Votes to table the issue came from Evans, Lovett, Kessler and Beagle. Votes against were Blakey, Hale and Gillis.
President Hale invited residents to speak and 16 residents approached the podium. There were no comments made by residents in favor of the tax credit reduction, rather all 16 residents were strongly against such action. In regards to tabling the issue until later, one resident told council that they “took the chicken way out tonight” and after some encouragement from Councilman Lovett, read his address to council.
Residents were not resigned to one particular way to cut expenses, however the pool, pay cuts, healthcare reductions, travel, and staff levels were all questioned. A common thread was heard among all of the concerned citizens comments, and it was that too many Tipp City families are struggling financially now with pay cuts, layoffs, foreclosure and extended unemployment. Two residents approached council with ideas on how to raise additional funds to cover the needed shortfalls.
The issue was tabled until after October Capital Improvements meeting and will be rescheduled for the first meeting November 2nd. Prior to that meeting however, Councilman Lovett proposed a commission be put together to look at alternatives and identify creative solutions to this problem. Several residents were in favor of this and stated that Council should use LinkedIn, Facebook and email, as those tools are very effective in getting the word out.
After a 10 minute recess many of the residents went back home which disappointed Mayor Evans stating” I encourage this level of participation on an ongoing basis for the community to interact.” “I encourage everyone to stay fired up and involved in this community. Thank everyone for coming up tonight especially for those who are not public speakers.”