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PUYALLUP: The public are not fools

Letter by A. David Churchman, Puyallup on Nov. 9, 2010 at 5:37 pm with 13 Comments »
November 9, 2010 5:37 pm

Three months ago, forecasts of doom and gloom at Puyallup City Hall were rampant with expectations of layoffs for city employees. At the low end, 30 were expected to be axed, up to 90 by early 2011.

The city has two pots of money, the general fund and the public works fund. Most salaries come out of the general fund. At that time, the Public Works fund was so healthy, there was a plan to transfer and train underemployed staff for new jobs inside Public Works.

Then the financial calculations were changed through the modification of the overhead algorithm by the city finance director. All of a sudden there was no need for layoffs or furloughs. The city manager received accolades and a permanent position. Only now, Public Works is flat broke. Maintenance and infrastructure upgrades are canceled. The streets, water lines and sewers will suffer.

The city manager keeps claiming that Public Works monies have not been transferred. Maybe not in terminology, but were in effect. How else do you explain how the financial status of the two funds was completely reversed in 90 days?

Puyallup utility customers and taxpayers will now have to live with substandard roads and utilities so that city hall can maintain full employment and superior health benefits for its staff. City Hall is convinced that the public is too stupid to figure this out. They are not.

Leave a comment Comments → 13
  1. hortonpeak says:

    I am really confused. Please, Mr. Churchman provide an explanation. The previous city manager was “fired” and an interim manager appointed. The interim manager became permanent. And know you are, it seems, attacking the new permanent manager whom you helped get installed due to previous letters to the editor. Please provide to the people of Puyallup, via the “News” Tribune – one hopes – exactly what you want. I, for one, am getting very tired of you and your cabal.

  2. puyallupmutt says:

    I agree with the author. Its strange that Puyallup has made a remarkable turnaround while the economy has not improved. Its also true that the city recently announced big cuts in street maintenance and sewer work. Something is fishy.

  3. hortonpeak says:

    I am still awaiting Mr. Churchman’s response. Hoping Puyallupmutt was he, but, seems the Mutt is only supporting Mr. Churchman. What is your stake in this Mr. Churchman?

  4. patriot62 says:

    His stake is the same as mine. As a tax paying citizen I want a TRUE answear from the City Manager. How can they have kept all those workers? Simple as Churchman stated now Public Works is strapped for monies. Not one of those people whom should have been let go was. Government getting bigger all the time while we the tax payer suffers. If people will quit electing the cronies of cronies, and a person with real character runs for office this will not happen. Why do cities need a Mayor? More tax money wasted!

  5. All I know is that Puyallup used to have some of the best maintained roads overall in my opinion..now there are some streets that are on the way to meeting Tacoma’s standards.

  6. chris3dog says:

    We need to ignore Mr. Churchman. It seems his last few letters to the editor were nothing more than him ranting about,…..someone’s been eating his porridge.

  7. commoncents says:

    Having a nice road doesn’t mean diddly squat if you don’t have anyone to drive on it. All I know is my house is worth 40% less than it was in 2007 and it’s not due to the amount of taxes that I paid. Unemployment plays a far bigger role in our economy than you would like to believe…

  8. Sumner401 says:

    The national election results sort of proves that the general public are in fact fools.

  9. Rowdy_Rob says:

    Sounds like the city is jealous of all the money the fair rakes in…

  10. JimmyEOlson says:

    The time was when people bought houses to live their lives in, not to flip to one bigger and better in 5 years. Time was when home mortgages were investments in the future, not commodities to be traded like pork bellies. What’s the diff if your house is worth less than five years ago, unless you are of the type who in fat years continues to upgrade to what you cannot afford? Don’t sell and you’ve lost nothing. They cry the blues when house prices don’t climb 25% per year every year. Nobody cried for me when I stayed in my house for 25 years and paid those ever increasing property taxes for the luxury of owning my own home. Be reasonable with your money and realize you can’t have everything now. Be happy you live in America where the poor have 52″ flatscreens and touch phones. Consider the alternatives.

  11. The poor have 52″ flatscreens and touch phones?

  12. remnants of when they had decent jobs

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