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Sunday, July 09, 2017

Janesville Manager Complains City Fees Aren't High Enough

One of the things I hear regularly from Janesville residents is city fees are too low.

OK, we're passed that piece of sarcasm.

But according to an article from the Janesville Gazette, City Manager Mark Freitag wants to institute an annual fee booster/checker mechanism that would flag any municipal fees that may be falling below the amounts charged in peer cities.

JG Excerpt:
The suggested fee increases aren't a response to an expected budget shortfall but the result of a comprehensive look at what the city charges for various programs and services and how they relate to peer communities and inflation, said Max Gagin, assistant to the city manager.

“The recommendations would certainly help our budget in 2018, but it's not necessarily a driving factor to closing a budget deficit,” he said.

It's a practice the city will repeat each summer, he said.

Obviously, the manager's scheme to confiscate more isn't about meeting budget demands, department balances or managing costs and efficiencies. Yet they call their proposal a "comprehensive" look.

So, instead of promoting efficient city services and amenities that are more affordable than in other cities and how that makes Janesville an attractive place to live, the administration thinks Janesville residents are getting off cheap.

But why shouldn't they feel that way? After all, Freitag mismanaged the city into a runaway deficit last year and then later balanced, with the council's approval, the $1M shortfall with $2.3M in 80 fee increases. They all got rave reviews and raises for that one.

On top of that, the city council gave away all of the growth in tax revenue expected from downtown property values for the next 27 years to Forward Janesville's ARISE gimmick ...and few blinked outside of this blog.

Keep in mind that the Janesville city council practically adopted Forward Janesville's "without higher local tax obligations, the Janesville economy could death spiral" mantra.

So, I can't blame the city manager or council for thinking inside the box.

It was all so predictable.


RNR - Top Local Story: The Kleptocracy Is Strong

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