>>Valley Patriot>>

Take a Good Look at Lawrence....
Do You Love What you See?
Patrick Blanchette, Lawrence City Council President

Once again the city of Lawrence is ex-periencing serious financial difficulties. 

Local historians of city government relate the current fiscal woes to those of the early 1990s under another familiar administration. The Lawrence City Council is currently in the process of reviewing the Fiscal 2006 budget as was proposed by Mayor Sullivan on June 7th. Due to the lateness of this document, the City Council needed to approve two thirty-day spending packages in order to keep city government running.

It is my hope that by mid-August the city will have a budget approved that is balanced and one that is accurate. Up until this point it seems that, once again, Mayor Sullivan is playing games with our wallets and, more disturbing, he is mixing his own words. 

On June 7th Mayor Sullivan submitted a proposed budget along with a three-page letter detailing the budget for the upcoming year.  In the last paragraph of the Mayor’s document he states that this budget contains “no tax increase for residential homeowners and commercial business owners.” 

I as one Councilor was happy to read this statement and started informing all that would listen that the city of Lawrence will not raise taxes this year. The citizens of Lawrence seemed to be overjoyed with this news as they have been dealt some tough blows in the last three years under the Sullivan administration and they were looking forward to “no new taxes” … so we thought! Once again, the document was filled with deception.

According to the Sullivan administration, as of last week, a tax increase is in the works and has been added right into the fiscal 2006 budget, a direct contradiction from Mayor Sullivan's June 7th memo on the budget. 

My fellow citizens of Lawrence, I’m asking each and every one of you to voice your concerns.  Make your opinions heard in the City Coun-cil chambers. In the month of August the City Council will have a public hearing on the Mayor’s proposed budget and I want to hear from you. 

The citizens need to have accurate information in order to properly budget their own accounts in the upcoming months. Why have our taxes gone up for the past three years under this administration when they continue to dole out plush contracts to friends? 

Why have our taxes gone up for the past three years and less than ten streets have been re-surfaced in the last year? Why have our taxes gone up and the Mayor pretends they have not? Why have our taxes gone up and we have so little to show for it?

Take a good look at Lawrence - do you love what you see?

Patrick Blanchette is president of the Lawrence City Council and is the District Councilor for Prospect Hill - District "A". he is also a member of the Democrat City Committee.  

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The August Edition of the Valley Patriot
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(July Edition)

 Prior Columns by Pat Blanchette