Demanding true accountability

I attended the Vienna City Council meeting on March 14 and watched as the mayor rubber stamped the 2013/2014 budget through the meeting. When I attempted to comment he would not allow it until after the entire agenda was discussed for the night and of course approved unanimously as is always the case.

My attempt to point out the unconscionable and indefensible pay increase of between 4 percent and 10 percent was shut down for comment. This raise is almost $2,000 per year and will be a minimum of $728 year longevity pay each year in the future.

Comments on the Rolls Royce medical plan the city staff and mayor enjoy were part and parcel of my presentation, but also not stated. This year premiums for about 70 people were over $1.1 million. This at an average cost to the city of $17,000 per employee. The employees pay premiums of zero for a single person to less than $200 for a complete family per month. The city pays $765/month to $1,833/month by comparison.

There are people in this community who hardly earn $17,000 per year but get the privilege to insure the city staff live large in pay raises and health care. Why should anyone be getting longevity pay anymore when their compensation package is equal or higher than the average for what people are earning in this area?

I have been trying for two years to get information on the salaries and health insurance for the city and until recently have been stonewalled by the budget committee. But now with some Freedom of Information Act requests, this data is starting to filter out. But I have noticed the numbers do not add up as presented and as an example the information provided to me just yesterday at the budget meeting on the capital reserve fund (read slush fund) were over $350,000 different by tonight’s meeting.

Vienna is getting ready to roll another huge surplus into the capitol reserve come July of this year. Yet, the city council has been adamant that it will not return any of the projected $5.5 million back to the taxpayers. Vienna is so overtaxed that the citizens if allowed to understand would be in open revolt.

The taxpayers need to demand true accountability and tax relief.

Lawrence Wilson