Letter: Voters, beware when voting for mayor
To the editor,
Be vigilant in your research when considering candidates for city council. Delve deeper and seek answers to why property taxes are excessive in Farmington. I agree property taxes have increased due to passed levies for the school district. But have you taken the time to talk with any member of the city staff about commercial tax base? I was quite amazed when a city staff member within the economic planning offices stated it was not the city staff's responsibility to solicit, encourage and help build the commercial tax base for the city of Farmington.
So if it's not, then what are our tax dollars going toward and what does their salary compensate them for? Building bridges that go nowhere? Lighting bridges that go nowhere? Building new city halls and housing it with all brand new furniture when the desks, file cabinets, etc. are suitable that the school district was glad to accept their hand-me-downs? Thank you Dr. Meeks for saving the tax payers dollars and accepting used office furniture for district staff and teachers. How about planning for "hotels" and "big box" stores that were never even in the plans.
Mayor Soderberg touts his leadership skills by bringing over 140 new businesses to Farmington during his reign as a council member and mayor. Do your math again, Kevan. Reports from the economic planning office don't add up. They have registered 80 new businesses since 2004 (That's as far back the city keeps records. Kevan, where did you get your data?), but nearly 40 existing businesses within the Farmington city limits have dissolved, filed bankruptcy or been sold/bought and relocated in another city due to better location and fiscal security. Great going, Kevan. Drive the businesses away and maintain a flat commercial tax base. And I say flat because the city economic planning staff couldn't provide me with statistics or trend data for the last five, three or even two years as to the percentage of increase or decrease in commercial tax base that would help assist homeowners with property taxes. Again, what are the responsibilities of the city staff, what information should they have to provide to the community, and under what kind of leadership has our city been governed?
Voters beware. Do your research before voting. Select candidates who are knowledgeable of economic development in difficult economical times. Not the "good-ole-boys" club or divisors for North/South Farmington. Select candidates with a vision, ones who can articulate their vision on their own.