HNN Staff
ANALYSIS: Increase in Effect; Public Asked, 'When was Last Time You Lived on Minimum Wage?'

One or more service fee increase complaints opined , 'what's to prevent it from multiplying in the future?

Talk show host Tom Roten posed that question to Mayor Williams, who dismissed it.

The Mayor precluded his 'pitch' for the regressive fee by detailing the police and roadway priorities with which it will be used. SEE: http://www.huntingtonnews.net/122848

"It's onerous on those who make less," the Mayor said. "MU students pay the same as professors."

"We are a creation of the state. Home rule has flexibility, but the ill fated occupation tax met resistance from all quarters."  He stressed that the legislature then added rules to prevent said tax from ever becoming a part of home rule.

Williams told council, " We've put together a collection team raising over $2 million dollars a year which has helped balance the [current] budget. We still have needs for law enforcement and needs to streets beyond comprehension."

Distinguishing this 'increase' from those of the past, he stressed the $2.00 a week increase will go toward city needs not included in the budget.

The Mayor has framed much opposition to a lack of trust in government comparing those expectations to those caught in abusive relationships --- they expect abuse as the end result since that's all they have known.

"We're here to do a new thing. This is a specific proactive fee," he said, explaining it will fix that which has never been fixed and bring additional law enforcement to devastated neighborhoods.

Listed repairs and snow removal  provided by public works total over $9 million dollars.

Councilman Bill Rosenberger had no hesitation stating, "my wife and I will pay this." (He has to; or, the city will withhold owed fees from council members pay checks.)

As Austin Sanders said in support, "these are tough decisions that require surgery."

No question.

What about Judith Elkins question to council and the mayor: "When was the last time you lived on minimum wage?" Or as Lisa McCain stated, "I wish they were in our shoes when we can not afford something."

 

Is there anything else disconcerting about the $2.00 a week? Perhaps, what was left unsaid.

Fire Department

Floodwall

Viaducts

Street Flooding

Storm Sewers

Behold. A rumor from more than one credible source points to more increases, just not the service fee. Something about a rain tax. $100 for every property owner plus percentage charged for each square foot of impervious surface. (For that matter, there's a hearing at Marshall to oppose a $20 rate increase by WV American Water!)

I'd like to see an art gallery in the observation deck of that 'rumored' skyscraper for downtown. I'd like to take some pictures there of the exceptional city, including a fully restored Keith Albee Performing Arts Center and other jewels awaiting polish.

Don't we have to find outside of the city tenants to fill the empty spaces in those of which already tower downtown, not have business bunny hops from one piece of real estate to another?

And, PLEASE, since I was asked to raise the question with strong encouragement ....  will anyone DENY the $100 plus 'rumor'?