Government math doesn’t add up

To the Editor,

Government math will be on display at the July 20 at Mount Airy Board of Commissioners meeting.

No, this isn’t the new math, but it won’t be normal math at the next city council meeting. Come and see how a low bid of $265,000 plus Duke lighting for $60,000 plus city provided landscaping of $10,000 plus estimated concrete removal of $50,000 will total less than $300,000 (not the usual $385,000 that normal math would provide).

How can this be you ask?

It is because Steve Yokeley and others want Market Street to be a fancy development, not just a normal city street that common businesses and citizens get.

At a June meeting the motion was made to approve up to $300,000 to develop Market Street, although the costs were clearly going to be above that amount. So will they turn down the fancy wants and provide the basic needs those businesses (and the taxpayers) deserve? Will they vote to reject the grandiose plan finally and spend the $70,000 or so it will take to properly pave the street and provide basic street lighting as for other city streets?

I say no, they will provide fuzzy government math that shows the cost to be less than $300,000 to do the grandiose version that some prefer. Who pays for the omissions or mistakes in the math? The taxpayer, of course, as usual, will pick up the real cost.

Speaking of real cost and other government math, remember hearing of the 3 percent raise city employees got this year? Well, the 3 percent is closer to 5 percent in actual math.

How can this be you ask?

It is because all employees got a 3 percent across the board raise in July 2016, plus additional “merit” raises during the year at their normal review times; the last of these additional raises going into effect in July 2017. When was the last time you heard the private sector get 5 percent raises in this economy? This is just part of the government employee compensation which includes the usual Social Security and Medicare, plus special government retirement paid in by the city, 401K, medical, dental, eyeglass insurance, and good holiday and vacation benefits. And when was the last city employee layoff or reduction in workforce?

Come Thursday July 20 at 7 pm to see your government in action.

Paul Eich

Mount Airy

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