Payback’s a Bitch

Posted on July 16, 2010

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In this case, an American Staffordshire Terrier bitch. Don’t get me wrong, the story in the Lynn Item this morning about City Councilman Tim Phelan’s spending spree on display cases and frames for pictures of former mayors is an egregious abuse a questionable use of taxpayer funds that should be stopped immediately.

Miscellaneous line items have no place in a fiscally sound municipal budget and should be abolished. More specific guidelines for what expenditures are in the “public good” are needed here. Try passing an ordinance on that.

Timing is everything here. The city is in the midst of a severe budget cutting of essential programs such as education and public safety. Two days ago a controversial vote on a muzzle ordinance was passed which no doubt has many people upset, Phelan leading the charge. Can you say ouch?

City Controller John Pace is right. Let’s start emulating fiscally solvent cities. The city budget is online now. Councillor meetings are televised. We can see most of what goes on. There will always be  some things hidden from the public. I applaud give the Lynn Item credit for publishing this, but think they somewhat sensationalized it.

What’s more important: giving poor families tickets to see shows at Lynn Auditorium or funding for school librarians and more dog officers? Phelan has probably bought a lot of votes with these expenditures. He’s not the only one. It’s what you do to get ahead when you’re a politician. Just be careful who you piss off. They may attack without warning. And they’ll go for the jugular when they do.

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Posted in: local government