15 year city employee:
Why I do NOT support the city manager-mayor-council form of government. The city has grown! We need more political infrastructure for leadership! Now take this consideration and let’s analyze the enhancements over the years.
Trash Pandas and Mid-whatever it’s called. Wonderful. Beautiful. Expensive. Mandatory Police overtime to serve a private company making money they keep; those Officers are paid out of city coffers. Pickle ball court announcements, softball fields, more parks, and walking trails galore! The idea for a Police station by the ballpark has been floated, but for what need I have no idea!
New city positions being created that are wonderful for larger cities but impractical for Madison at this time. Widened roads in affluent areas. Sidewalks in affluent areas. Cute stop signs on county line rd. for the joggers and walkers on the cart path. With exception to how city funds seem to be spent on the private company, these are wonderful additions and people deserve them.
Now let’s take a look at the “other side of the tracks. Low-income families on Shelton have to walk in ditches, through waist high grass, , cutting through the church and woods to avoid sharp curvesand try avoiding cars as they walk to get fresh food from stores because gas is low for the week or they cannot afford a car. Children in the evenings walk the same to get ice cream or ride a bike. I’ll never forget the screams of the 8year old hit by a car one evening in another similar location and situation and almost losing his life on the way to get food from the store. I remember standing beside a now two term council member at the low-income elderly home. They pleaded for sidewalks to use for exercise and enjoyment, so they did not have to battle traffic on West Dublin. They pleaded and articulated how they needed a city ride system so the elderly, infirm, and poor could get fresh groceries. They voted both times to his favor. They have no sidewalks. They still eat canned and processed foods and pay copious amounts for cab rides if they want groceries or prescriptions. I’m ashamed to have been part of that.
Infrastructure! What is good for the council should be good for the peasants too, right? Why are city divisions, the hands-on people that actually keep this city running, operating with the same staffing as 10+ years ago but are demanded to do more work for the same pay as a decade ago almost? The compensation for labor in some positions is ridiculous. If the council needs this addition, then why can other divisions not get enhancements that should have been addressed long ago? Follow the money.
For over a decade your vehicles have been broken into at city parks while you watch lil Timmy play ball. The loss is yours, not the city’s loss so why would they make a minimal investment in cameras that would irrefutably deter your loss? Follow the money.
The ones that need and go without are not members of the “parrots of the Caribbean”. They do not eat at Old Black Bear with the affluent and well connected. They have to keep their head down to survive so they have little time to buck or be heard. I challenge each council member and the mayor to walk among the subjects. Talk to the divisions about what they did 8 years ago and how the responsibility has increased and with what resources they have been upgraded to for these increases. Ask them what they make and then factor that salary into how you would make your 400K mortgage, vacation home payments, or boat note. Why do they go without?
If you run an engine without proper maintenance, it will seize.
You will also find these loyal hard working people that keep the city running are positive and have servant like hearts despite knowing they fall by the wayside. I challenge the council to walk from Shelton park apartments to the IGA or Publix in the ditch and experience the heart pound as cars whizz by you. Bring bug spray for the ticks! I challenge the council to spend time with the West Dublin residents as they use their walkers in traffic to get exercise or just live outside their room for an hour in sun. Then look in their pantries and see the sustenance they exist on.
I may be called irrational. I may be called dramatic. But when I see the council professing such a need that is not in fact a need while they watch or turn a blind eye to infrastructure necessities or the low income areas that never seem to get the enhancements needed for quality of life I become exhausted. NO to a city manager.
Use the money for sidewalks so low-income families can get fresh food. Use the money for sidewalks and a ride system so our elderly citizens in various locations can get fresh foods without deciding if they can spread daily meds out longer than they should just to pay the taxi to get prescriptions and food. Install cameras around the city that can protect property and help deter crime that has been increasing vigorously. Honor the people that have been neglected yet continue digging ditches, supporting Police or Admin in office, or answer calls from people that need help in a call center that is understaffed and underpaid. Sorry for the poor grammar but in summary: Do the right thing. I mean no disrespect or insult. I know many of the top dogs. They are good people. It’s simply time to stop, reflect, and get back to the basics of servitude and integrity. Please take no offense, It’s just business after all……