Wednesday, January 9, 2019

’We have acted responsibly’: Columbia Borough council president defends 21 percent tax hike | pennlive.com

Speaking before borough council, concerned and sometimes angry residents took turns airing their frustrations about a 21 percent tax increase that was included in 2019's budget.

MORE:

https://www.pennlive.com/news/2019/01/columbia-borough-tax-talks-turn-tumultuous.html

32 comments:

  1. They are completely irresponsible!!!

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    1. Take the pic in the boro down , can't stand to look at these people , they DON'T have there own mind , are they hypmotisted or what????

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    2. CLOSED MINDS , there are to old to think of any one else but for themselves.

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  2. TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION: Last night showed everyone why residents do not attend council meetings. THEIR VOICES ARE IGNORED. Council president, Kelly Murphy, read a lengthy, PREPARED statement proving that their minds were made up prior to walking into that room and hearing one word from residents who signed the petition...PRIOR TO HEARING ONE WORD. I believe this is the beginning stages of gentrification. I would say "vote them out", but by the time they are gone, the damage will be done. How many seated on this council have gone door-to-door asking for your vote? How many of them have opened their private homes to the taxpayers in an effort to hear their concerns? They didn't work for your vote, they put their name on a ballot, that's all they did. Now they control your wallet and your future. Residents are continuing to work toward resolving this situation because we knew council would do nothing. This past Monday the petition issues were moved forward to the next step.

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    1. The tax people of this town must move forward is a BIG YES!!! They the Borough is so wrong on our tax dollars! I was there and just knew that their minds where already made up!! Its a shame on them!! How do they sleep at night with what they are doing!! Thank you for the people that spoke and thank you for the the people that went to the meeting! I was proud of the amount that should up and proud to be a Columbian!!

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    2. REMEMBER THEM (ALL) ON ELECTION DAY. HOPE THEY MAKE HISTORY even though it was not good history of the town they bankrupded.

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    3. Roll Tide Roll!

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  3. We should push to have the union street ramp widened and signage for the public to use , no matter whos cottage is there mayor.

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  4. These pupets ( WHO SHOULD NOT SHOW THERE FACES IN TOWN ) don't have minds of there own, how can 7 people agree on all these items every time ? They all must go this is not how government works , this is a dictatorship with puppets voting with the president or so called president. He and the mayor are 10 years PAST DUE to be voted out , THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE but you all lost touch with the towns people, youall are not gods and I for one will not treat you as such , I will not hear you respond to this because you all lost your minds , A real council would not agree on all of this ,with the citizens telling you they don't want it, I hope all council , mayor ,borough inexperened management ,find that citizens are tired of all the lies that you told and get the cold shoulder for the rest of your terms , unless you step down and let responcible people take over and clean up the hell of a mess youall have created . LAUGHTING STOCK YES LOOK AT THE PICS OF YOURSELVES in the borough building, it should make 20/20 or a national show like date line . Instead of the county it would be the world to see the DISSERVICE you have done to the citizens of a small town.

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  5. We citizens should call these people with all problems 24/7 they want to make decisions call them , #1 cop said his number is in the book call it and council too, managers also call them , oh they don't live here but call them any way,

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  6. I think they all need to go. I am surprised at that new guy and Fran I thought they would work with us. And the gentlemen on their who owes taxes how can he face us? Now I wonder if I can't pay my taxes if I can go to them and get a loan. They don't care about the people who were in this town for many many years just trying to say oh we did this when I was on council. We the people would like Norm Meiskey to run our boro he is for US NOT HIMSELF. He needs to run again and straighten this town out.

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  7. I could not be at the meeting last night but now you should understand why people don't go to the meetings there cpuld have been threr hundred people in that room and that would not have made a difference they don't listen to the people they already had there minds made up and there was not anything that was going to change that they must go all of them or.this town is doomed sad the right people could make it a great town to live in

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  8. Do these 4 councilors, whose seats are up for re election, not realize they will be voted out? That is where this fight was always going to be won!

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    1. That's not necessarily true. For everyone on the dissent side there are likely just as many or more on the affirm side.

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  9. Yes I agree our voices were not heard and we need to keep fighting and move forward to stop this. Nothing they want to do makes any sense, they should all be fired.

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  10. I was at the meeting as well. Quite a disappointment. They all did have their minds made up already. Voices didn't matter. This is what I believe. They don't think they will be replaced. After all who will run it takes alot of your time on council. They want this river park expansion & will not under any circumstance change their minds for anyone. They have a dream which is great but come back down to reality a bit. Our small town doesn't have the tax bracket for a dream that large. As far as loaning money to new business. Perhaps not a bad idea but reel in the amount you are loaning out. $250,000 is way too much. Let's discuss being top heavy. Way too many positions in the borough. Police absolutely needed. But way too many positions with clerical staff, Asst. Managers, I could go on. First thing a business looks at when the budget doesn't work is to eliminate things. If that doesn't work (it was said they did that), then it's time to get rid of some staff. This is a small town not York, Lancaster, Philly. I am also sure they feel this will blow over in a month or so. So they don't need to change anything & they can make all the decisions. I heard about an elderly woman who needs to decide what she should give up. Food, heat, prescription drugs so she can stay in her home. My mom will probably be there soon as well. Guess council doesn't have parents in that situation or they just don't give a crap. Let's not let them get away with this. Keep packing the meetings. And seriously something must be done with the school tax. That is a real killer. Thank you.

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  11. How true it is what the person above said if the whole town was there they had their minds made up. They promised the business person money and can't go back on it. There should be one who so who disagree instead of looking like puppets shaking their heads for everything. I hope the people who are in contact with Harrisburg get this straightened out and maybe they will all have to have some true answers. Norm Meiskey would win in a heartbeat he has the citizens at heart. And Frank Doutrich they were afraid to put him on council when there was a vacancy. They don't want anyone on there who will disagree with them. And the p[oor people who have to put those boxes on their businesses next it will be our homes. WAKE UP COUNCIL THINK YOU PUT YOU IN THERE

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  12. i am not sure but cant they be forced out of office

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  13. Maybe since the Murphy's want to use tax payers money to fund their business, all taxpayers should get to eat for free at Hinkles. That is the least they could do for the taxpayers who are funding their business.

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  14. We just need 4 people to run. It will take very little effort to win, the people don't want this new tax increase. But the budget will HAVE TO be cut. In 2012 the borough had 11 patrolmen. Now it has 15 with around a million dollars a year in salary between them. What happened that they had to add 4 more? Did the situation change? What is the $10,000 a year for the drug task force? What do they do? Has the drug situation gotten better or worse? And code enforcement costs us over $100,000 a year more than they bring in. Seems like some cuts can be made there too. Clerical employees as mentioned above as well...

    There's more to this than just repealing the tax. The budget must be balanced as well. We need people who won't get cold feet when it comes time to send borough employees to the unemployment lines. We need people who will remember that this is to keep them from throwing our retired and elderly citizens out on the street and hold their feet to the fire. I think a freeze on unfunded projects, a hiring freeze and maybe some audits are in order.

    We need somebody who is eligible to run to step up.

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  15. This isn't over, it went just like I expected the meeting to go. We made our point and it's on TV again, Who looks bad, not the Tax Payers. We need to keep on going, do what ever we can. I hope that all of the people who signed the Petition and showed up at the meeting show up to VOTE THE 4 OUT. Brian Long and I discussed having more meetings getting the people who were thinking about running to run with our support. I am not against making this town better, but don't put us in debt to do it. We need Companies to come in to employee people and pay their share of taxes to the town, Industry to come in and pay good wages, we had it before. This 10 year Tax free is a joke it make this town look like it is so desperate that you don't have to pay taxes to get them in here, what benefit is that to this town. What then they move out. We don't need a town where people only work Part Time, Can't buy a house like that.

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  16. Please don't misunderstand me, I'm not making light of this situation. I realize that many folks in Columbia are on a tight budget. But let's do the math here. 1 mil = 1/1000 or $1 for every $1000 in taxable value. We are going from 6.6 mils to 8 mils, correct? So for a person who owns a $100,000 home, your annual tax if increasing from $640/year to $800/year. That $140, or $11.67/month. So all this fuss over less than $12 a month? We have't had a tax increase in a decade, so we are talking about a little more than $1 a year increase. Really, in the big picture, that's not bad. It really isn't. Now I don't know what a median home value looks like for Columbia but while some will pay more, there are a quite a number of homes in town that are below the $100,000 mark and those folks will see less of an increase. I get that people are upset, i am too. But really? You read the comments here and you'd think this increase is thousands upon thousands for every resident. Look we elected these guys to make tough choices, right? I'm sure no one really wants to vote for a tax increase, why would you? That's certainly no way to be prom king. But we really need to keep some perspective here.

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    1. It is not just about $140.00 a year. It is about where and how it is being spent. You obviously don't see the entire picture. How about you just hand over $140 to me so I can take a chance on winning the lottery with it. Essentially that is what the Murphy improvement scam is hoping for a big pay off with the use of others money. Do you think the borough gave money to all the current or prior businesses in town. Do think anyone else will even be considered for getting money from the borough to start a business in Columbia? The answer to all is HELL NO. And let the widowed senior citizens know that its just $140 a year!

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    2. Nah, I see the entire picture. I'm ok with this loan program that everyone is so upset about. I'm ok with the borough being aggressive in attracting businesses to town. You can't look around town and not see the the many good changes that have come in recent years. It has been explained that this tax increase has nothing to do with the loan program. Fair enough. Actually the program has been around longer than this increase, so ok, without the increase we'd still have a loan program, just smaller. Also, it has been explained that the program is administered by a lending institution. Therefore, there are qualifications to get a loan. Just like when you buy a car or a home, you have to be approved for the loan. Not just anyone is going to be handed money to be lost. Also, if a business doesn't pay, a lien would be placed against the property so that the borough gets its money back. Its actually a pretty square deal. I believe in the time the borough has had this program, one, maybe two loans have been given, so no, not every prior business has been given a loan and certainly not every business to come will need one. But I'm ok with having such a program because i'm ok with doing what we can to attract businesses here so that we can have a thriving community with a stable and growing tax base so that we need fewer tax increases in the future. I don't support this tax increase. But I do understand that costs of things go up and sometimes small increases are necessary on the other end to pay for them. I also feel that, and maybe its just my opinion, good things are happening here and I want to see them continue. Do we need a loan program for that? probably not. But I don't see what it hurts to have that tool in the tool belt either.

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    3. "Let's do the math here". Really? Missed the point: It is wrong for private business to profit off of taxpayer dollars. I don't care if it's five cents or five thousand, that's not what it's for. Clueless: $140.00 could easily pay one month's electric bill or groceries for two weeks. Obviously, some never had to rob Peter to pay Paul.

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    4. People who support this increase are laughable!!! Can't wait for them to realize they've been had, dumbasses!!!!

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  17. This is just ONE reason I sold my house after being born in Columbia. Good residents are correct when they say families that been there for generations are leaving. My great great great grandfather came from Germany settle in Columbia and is buried in Mt Bethel Cemetery in Columbia. I was the last of my Family when I moved out two years ago. They DONT care. Here is the situation, I sold to a couple that have three children in CBSD. When I sold my youngest was graduating. So yes, they are right someone will pay the taxes I had to pay, but they DIDN'T think what it will now cost to educate three young children compared to my ZERO children in school. As for the local businesses I don't eat, drink, or shop in Columbia anymore. Starting to see the impacts when people leave Mr. Mayor and Kelly Murphy. Don't get me wrong there are awesome people in Columbia lots of senior citizens with a wealth of knowledge about the good ole days of Columbia. People I look up to people I learned life lessons from. People I will always respect and admire. All the Crime forced me to sell after 47 years of living in Columbia. NOT the crime committed by residents. Not the crime committed by visitors of Columbia. IT WAS THE CRIME OF THE ELECTED OR IN MOST CASES APPOINTED OFFICIALS that have held positions on a couple boards in Columbia. I do however admire and support the residents that are questioning and currently challenging the Board of Crooks.

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  18. they would have to get in line for the lein behind other primary leins

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  19. You have acted responsibly?????? Surely, you jest. Every single one of you SHOULD be ashamed for your lack of justice, listening to your constituents, taking into consideration the HIGH number of poverty residents and also the laage number of elderly. You have acted like a couple of school girls who were given a credit card and told to GO SPEND AS MUCH AS YOU WANT, THERE'S ABSOLUTELY NO LIMIT...IT'S OK, do whatever you want. Well guess what? ALL your time is UP. Step aside and let someone who TRULY cares about our residents and who LISTENS to those who voted for them. You all have made a mockery of this Boro. Hang your heads.

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    1. Oh my God, this is perfectly said!!!!

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  20. The third party lending institution is not so "third party" after all. The man deciding on who gets the loans is well known to Columbia Borough. He did work for them by way of a study.

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  21. It's insane that the council thinks they can pick viable companies to loan money to. If a company is viable, they'll be able to get financing at a bank or through investors. The only kind of companies that are going to come to the council for money are those that are so risky that they can't get a private lender to extend credit to them. If the council members are so convinced they can pick safe and creditworthy companies to loan money to, they should provide PERSONAL GUARANTEES to the borough that the money will be paid back....with interest.

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