To the editor:
First off, I would like to thank all the readers locally and in Burns who believe the city of John Day has gone awry in its financial responsibility as well as the failure to provide the needs of its citizens. The Dec. 14 City Council meeting was no exception.
First off is the parking lot area to relieve Main Street of larger vehicles. The city management chose to make yet another purpose for it (without going to council) in the naming of it and other amenities added other than parking. The whole concept was changed and one council member and the president of the Chamber of Commerce give the lecture of a lifetime to the leaders.
Just like all the mayor's projects, it was never designed before they started construction, the designs just keep changing without the permission of the councilors. Most of the times the councilors just accept the eye candy projects and a lust for free money as to the funding.
Regarding a loan application from Business Oregon for the URA program, I noticed in the estimated cost for the 100 house development projects. In the explanation for discussion was the line: “Additional funding received from the loan will be for contingency and debt service.” This $2.3 million will be repaid in part by withholding money from other taxing districts in the county.
Some of this money will be used for debt service. That is the definition of living beyond your means and should not even happen. This money is provided to private contractors, of course after the city’s management fees.
Finally, the question come up from the city asking their auditor: Is there any money being set aside for a slush fund? (paraphrasing) What the question should have been, “Is there any money being moved on a regular occasion to cover shortfalls”. Also, I believe the community development fund is a slush fund they have created.