June 25, 2008

Mayor's words to taxpayers

Here's the letter from Mayor Art Ward to taxpayers that's going out with the city's property tax bills this month:

Greetings:
As residents and taxpayers, we are all aware of the present economic conditions nationally, statewide and locally. The effect of these conditions has a direct impact on the ability of City government to deliver the same degree of services to the taxpayer as have been rendered in the past. Accordingly, this administration has attempted to address this obligation in a responsible manner and with the best interests of the community at hand.
In addition to just completing property revaluation, both you individually, along with City government, have also incurred increased costs associated with energy, food, health care and numerous other essentials of everyday life. We have tried to consider all of these factors in adopting this year’s budget and will steadfastly attempt to control all municipal spending. Additionally, we will monitor all costs in order to ease the tax burden for each of us for the next fiscal year.
In order to accomplish this task, I have asked Department Heads for their suggestions to reduce costs and promote efficiencies throughout City Hall. I have also placed suggestion boxes for employees to submit their thoughts about implementing cost savings. I anticipate through these suggestions, some of which have already taken effect, the City will find some creative and cost effective ways to provide services you are accustomed to receiving. Furthermore, I have issued a directive that overtime must be approved by me unless it relates directly to the safety of the citizens of Bristol.
On a more positive note, the City financials continue to be strong. Our reserve fund is healthy, our outstanding debt is modest, and our tax collection rates continue to be strong. Future tax collections may be impacted by the downturn in the economy, but I have no doubt, through strong management, increased efficiencies and cost reductions, we will prevail through these difficult times.
Sincerely,
Mayor Arthur J. Ward

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Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

"our outstanding debt is modest"

...my head hurts

Anonymous said...

B...S...

Anonymous said...

I give Ward credit for at least acknowledging the problem and attempting to do something about it. It's more than Couture or Stortz would have done.Heres my suggestion: Cut the number full time firefighters in half and replace them with on-call volunteers. ALL the surrounding towns do it and save a ton of money. Oh and stop sending out 5 city workers just to cut a tree down while 4 of them stand around watching and a cop is there directing traffic when the workers could be doing it themselves.

Anonymous said...

How do you know what Couture or Stortz would have done?

What we do know is that when there was a recession, Stortz had the courage to lay off city workers. Sounds good to me.

Anonymous said...

here's a freakin flash for ya artie.......

LAY OFF SOME DEAD WOOD IN THE DPW and

CUT BACK ON POLICE OVERTIME

pretty simple, eh ???

-billy from bristol

Anonymous said...

improper planning is the key directive here...

Anonymous said...

In reality, Stortz did cut costs.

And he gave Ward and others a heads up which they ignored.

Anonymous said...

Approve Overtime: micromanaging>

Guess it is different when you are in the chair, isn't it Artie?

Anonymous said...

Mayor: you approved the budget and now you want to micromanage it.

Guess you want it both ways.

Anonymous said...

Hey just asks Frank about this increase. I'm sure he is not that far from the mayor's side. Who's really running Bristol? Who's wearing the pant? Frank Nicastro? Artie Ward? It just keeps on point to why we need a CCO

Anonymous said...

if micromanaging the budget is bringing it down from 1.5 mills to under 1 mill then I want ward doing the micromanaging. what part of savings don't we understand? thank you mayor.

Anonymous said...

The fact is that Art had very little to do when the initial budget was reduced. All that happened is that the depts did not reduce their "requests" enough.

Now Ward wants to micro manage DAY BY DAY.

Hypocrite!

Anonymous said...

Mayor to taxpayers:

Bend over, I'll drive.

Anonymous said...

who ever Artie appoints to the board you can be sure its one of his good old budies (drinking) and a person who is a yes man. Remember one thing Artie is for Artie a one time mayor. But you cant put all the blame on him its all you jerks who voted for him.

Anonymous said...

"Remember one thing Artie is for Artie a one time mayor. But you cant put all the blame on him its all you jerks who voted for him."

~ You think so? Then I guess you're going to be REALLY disappointed in us "jerks" when we re-elect him!

Anonymous said...

It is NOT Micro Managing if Art does it, only when someone else does it.

Anonymous said...

Mayor Ward is Bristols George Bush.

Anonymous said...

~ He's not micro managing, he's doing his job, and doing it quite well actually (much to the naysayers chagrin) LOL!!!

Democrat 4 Bush said...

Mayor Ward is Bristols George Bush.

June 26, 2008 3:12 PM
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I think it's offensive to demean our president in such a manner . Steve .... you should watch these postings more closley

Anonymous said...

Approving OT on a daily basis is not micro managing??

Gimme a break!

Anonymous said...

Next he will be telling the custodians what broom to use.

Art, see if Couture left you any paper clips.

Anonymous said...

When Art mentioned "Strong Management", was he referring to the COO?

Anonymous said...

Keep up the great work Mayor Ward ~ looks like you're really tickin' em off!

Anonymous said...

You are correct, the mayor is relly ticking them off, the public that is, or to you Ward fans, the populace.

Anonymous said...

AN ART WARD ALLEGORY:


---John, the farmer, was in the fertilized egg business. He had several hundred young layers (hens), called "pullets", and ten roosters, whose job it was to fertilize the eggs.

The farmer kept records, and any rooster that didn't perform went into the soup pot and was replaced. That took an awful lot of his time, so he bought a set of tiny bells and attached them to his roosters. Each bell had a different tone, so John could tell from a distance which rooster was performing. Now he could sit on the porch and fill out an efficiency report simply by listening to the bells.

The farmer's favorite rooster was old Butch, a very fine specimen he was, too. But on this particular morning John noticed old Butch's bell hadn't rung at all!

John went to investigate. The other roosters were chasing pullets, bells-a-ringing. The pullets, hearing the roosters coming, would run for cover.

But to Farmer John's amazement, old Butch had his bell in his beak, so it couldn't ring. He'd sneak up on a pullet, do his job and walk on to the next one.

John was so proud of old Butch, he entered him in the Renfrew County Fair, and he became an overnight sensation among the judges.

The result...

The judges not only awarded old Butch the No Bell Piece Prize, but they awarded him the Pulletsurprise as well.

Clearly old Butch was a politician in the making: who else but a politician could figure out how to win two of the most highly coveted awards on our planet by being the best at sneaking up on the populace and screwing them when they weren't paying attention.

Vote carefully this year....the bells are not always audible..

Anonymous said...

Huh?

Our tax collections continue to be strong.

Interesting that we haven't started collecting taxes for the coming year yet.

Is Ward using his own crystal ball?