December 4th Update

For the second time in just over a week
Flagstaff has experienced another water main break. This line break occurred near the hospital, the same area that had a major break just couple years ago. A medical facility was forced to close operations for the day. Several citizens also showed up at tonight’s council meeting telling us of their flooded and damaged homes and threatening possible legal action.

Those of you who have been following me since I was elected to the Flagstaff City Council, and even before, know that one of my top priorities has been our cities budget and the need to focus our resources on our core city services. Now I know that getting funds for filling potholes or replacing pipes in the ground that are rarely seen is not the most exciting thing. It’s hard to compete with some of the more high profile community issues. But the needs for our infrastructure are not going away and they grow greater everyday. I may sound like a broken record but it’s a song I’m willing to repeat as many times as necessary.

A small success that I am very proud of spear heading is the need for an ongoing budget process. In the past, Councils have done three or four long budget retreats during the year. In my opinion, an ineffective budgeting method. This Council has begun meeting monthly to tackle the budget. Our next meeting in December 12th. Unlike the past though we are going through the budget with a fine tooth comb. My hope is that this Council will come to a consensus and reallocate the necessary funding that is needed to address our core services and infrastructure.

As I’ve said many times, these are not easy discussions but they are necessary. We have limited resources and I will continue to advocate for the most prudent use of tax dollars.

3 thoughts on “December 4th Update

  1. It seems to me the water pipes under the streets in the newer areas (Boulder Pointe, Ponderosa Trails, etc) are probably in good shape and may not need replacement for many years; however in the older areas of town it is probably a different story. I would suggest that city council find out exactly which areas of the city need water pipes replaced and the cost of replacing them. As much as I hate using bonds for this purpose, it may be necessary to do so.
    Also, it is common knowledge the city hates to give back tax money to taxpayers when bonds are paid off and come up with ways to sell more bonds for purposes that are wasteful. I know people that work for the city that say the $8 million bond for radios was a total waste–they are not being used. It may not be legal, but if we put it to a vote of the residents we may be able to divert bond money that has already been approved for other purposes but not yet implemented to repair/replace our water pipes. Our water lines are more important than a court house, maintenance facility, police radios, and I would even say schools. What good will putting more money in schools accomplish if the water lines to the schools fail and the school ends up being closed?

    If we end up using bonds to replace our water pipes let’s also make sure that instead of throwing $300.000/year to United Way and other organizations we use this money and other funds that may be similarly wasted to fund the regular maintenance of our infrastructure.

  2. It’s funny how many of the environmentalists want to conserve water while we waste untold thousands or hundreds of thousands of gallons in old and broken pipes.

  3. The give away of taxpayer dollars to the likes of United Way, SNA and SEDI have GOT TO STOP! City budget MUST align itself with the realities of providing its citizens their basic necessities…..absolute top priority! Keep after them Jeff!

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