Tonight I watched the Burnsville City Council meeting which had a lengthy agenda which included yesterday’s post about the addition of an expensive roundabout where one does not belong and also the consent agenda which included the approval of the entire amended 2009 budget. As I have been covering for several months, these cuts were vital in order to make the city run properly and keep taxes low but unfortunately through poor decisions made by the Burnsville City Council, some unimportant items were not cut or not cut enough while others were sliced so far that it is creating a growing problem in the City of Burnsville.
Due to various factors, including a handicapped police department, Burnsville has seen an increase in serious crime that includes arson, murder, robbery, and residential burglary among others. Even with this sharp increase and the choice of nearby cities choosing to avoid cuts and in some cases beef up their public safety abilities, Burnsville’s City Council led by Mayor Elizabeth Kautz, felt that it was imperative that they still cut police department staff in order to make money available elsewhere.
c) Council consensus to modify proposed reductions to HOC beautification to implement what was presented as Option 2 (flower baskets in core area only) and Option A for lighted trees and snowflakes (LED lights, add timers, reduce trees by 15, and shorten season), with reduced assessments in proportion to the amount of service that is being reduced
With this decision, the Burnsville City Council saved only $43,000 in 2010 instead of the $140,000 (it costs Burnsville residents $70,000 a year for Heart of the City beautification) it might have in both 2009 and 2010. While keeping these pointless snowflakes and buckets of expensive flowers clearly visible from the mayor’s condo is obviously a priority for the mayor and her friends, the $100,000 would have been much better spent covering public safety positions to either control arson or crime in Burnsville (page 20 of the agenda packet linked above).
Do you believe that the Burnsville City Council acted appropriately in cutting public safety while continuing to provide ~$100,000 in funding for flowers and fake snowflakes or do you think that the items should have been pulled for discussion prior to being passed as part of the consent agenda? Whatever you feel, go ahead and comment on as people need to be heard on the dangers rising in Burnsville due to the poor financial decisions made by the City Council.