Didn't know that we gave over 200,000 to the Music Commission because if we didn't the music of Memphis would die or something? Yeah, me neither....
Frayser apparently gets 500,000 for their community and the Frayser 2020 plan was mentioned in relation to this. Those of you who know all about Sustainable Development know this is not something that should be pushed by the government but, I had never heard of Frayser 2020. If you want to know what that is all about for your community, google Collierville 2040, Germantown Vision 2020, Bartlett Vision 2020 and the list goes on. These are planning visions by people who see the suburbs as the reason so many cities are failing and they encourage infill, stack and pack housing and livable communities in which you can live, work, and play all in the same local area. It's all so green and planet-saving worthy and it has worked out so well in China, right? OK not so much, but they mean well and that's all that matters..Live, Work, Play Woohoo! As a side note, I'm not against communities that make it easy to get from place to place on foot or bicycle, I just don't think we need to spend billions of dollars to create this utopia and this is happening in every community in the country. I'd rather they give this money to police and fire and other essential services, but hey, no common sense is allowed...that's crazy talk!
Despite the many sob stories by current police and fire employees and some retired, the city passed the budget as is with the pensions and healthcare increases that so many spoke against. This meant there would be no tax increase which I was happy to see. I have mixed feelings on the pensions/healthcare increases these groups will see because they were told one thing and now their government is going back on their word but, welcome to OUR world.
As a fiscal conservative I would not usually be against the city making these tough decisions and cutting police and fire pensions/healthcare plans to more resemble what the private sector experiences but...knowing that the city is spending 28 million on the revitalization of the Raleigh Springs Mall and the fairgrounds project which the city is in the process of declaring a TDZ (Tourism Development Zone) which will mean those taxes will be diverted from the general fund and used for the redevelopment of this area,I would rather give this money to those people Memphis made a promise too so long ago. The fairgrounds project is projected to cost 233 million. And no, I don't believe Councilman Flinn's argument that either we cut services, or raise taxes. Why not cut out those 2 projects alone and problem solved!
Those of us who went were amazed with all of the pressure against them to vote against the budget, they voted against it anyway which goes to show you, who ever is behind the curtain that wanted this passed, holds a lot of power. I have never seen the council resist this much public sentiment. This meeting was highly emotional and I felt for all of the people who were going to be dumped on the healthcare exchanges and whose limited income would become even more limited. I also couldn't help thinking these people are missing a critical element about these steep rises in Healthcare. The Affordable Healthcare Act is not so affordable. Ask the private sector how that's working out.
It was a bittersweet win for those who didn't want a tax increase. I wish these groups who only show up when a vote is going to hit their pocket book would understand, it's the rest of the year they need to be attending these meetings when the council spends like money grows on trees. Parks, golf courses, tennis courts, swimming pools, etc. The city is spending so much on things they never should have had their hand in. If they weren't, we could afford to pay fire and police what they are worth and what was promised.