Councilman proposes $8.6M budget reductions — to service city's debt

Friday, June 15, 2012 at 4:26pm
Staff reports

Metro Councilman Sean McGuire released an alternative budget on Friday afternoon, but it didn’t involve lowering Mayor Karl Dean’s originally proposed 53-cent property tax increase.

McGuire, who also chairs the council’s budget and finance committee, suggested about $8.6 million — or 4.5 cents per property owner — in cuts from Dean’s budget. However, he recommended transferring the money to debt service, rather than chopping it from the budget.

“While some might prefer that we simply reduce the tax levy by $0.045, I believe that the taxpayer is better served in the long run by our being fiscally responsible and putting the money away for a rainy day,” McGuire wrote in a letter to his colleagues on Friday.

McGuire’s alternative budget includes a $3.5 million cut to Dean’s $720 million schools plan, which is much less than the $23 million Metro Nashville Public Schools Director Dr. Jesse Register feared some council members would propose.

Pulling nearly $1 million in subsidies from the Nashville Farmers' Market, Tennessee State Fairgrounds and Municipal Auditorium was also on McGuire’s list of cuts.

“We do not need to keep incentivizing these enterprises to continue to underperform; rather we can put this money aside and let them come back to the council at some point in the future,” McGuire wrote.

McGuire didn’t make any cuts to Dean’s Davidson County Sheriff’s Office’s proposed budget plan, which Sheriff Daron Hall bashed in budget discussions earlier this week.

Dean’s approximately $168 million allocation to the Metro Nashville Police Department was cut only by $211,900 in McGuire’s alternative budget.

The council’s budget and finance committee meets on Monday at 4 p.m.

Sean McGuire budget letter.pdf247.29 KB

12 Comments on this post:

By: FLeFew on 6/15/12 at 2:59

Do these people not fet it??? What was the lesson of Wisconsin??? NO MORE TAXES!!!!

By: govskeptic on 6/16/12 at 7:02

It's the same Tax increase, only they want to put aside part of the money
to spend another time in reserves at possible their discretion versus the Mayor!

By: cadillac5 on 6/16/12 at 6:57

Again it is obivious the politicians interest is more tax's for their fringe benefits,pensions etc.It is so easy for these people to plan a budget useing the taxpayers money.This thought process is at epidemic porportion at all level of government.More money is the solution for all free loaders!FISCAL DISCIPLINE,is not a prerequisite.

By: Cold Floridian on 6/17/12 at 6:25

I am totally stumped..
Why is the city of Nashville spending $500,000.00 on fireworks yet can't come up with a reasonable budget that doesn't take from the property owner?

I could think of a lot of stuff I could fix with $500,000.00 in gun powder!!

By: Ask01 on 6/17/12 at 12:09

I have yet to receive an honest, direct, real answer from anyone in power explaining how an administration self proclaimed to hold education, public safety, and the general welfare of the citizens of Nashville as major prioritities can threaten cuts to those same prioities as a result of their mismanagement of public funds.

No one has yet offered any reason why the cuts must be at the end of the spear where services are actually provided instead of the other end, at the front office which consumes the bulk of the salary budget providing the least actual benefit to citizens.

No one has yet tried to explain away giving tax breaks to corporations and businesses who have provided no concrete support to Nashville in favor of picking the pockets of working, productive citizens.

I must presume, since no one in power will offer the flimsiest of excuses, the city leadership is opting to ignore the questions, hoping if they don't acknowledge the queries they will fade away.

The final reading of a proposal I believe amounts to extortion at worst, and protection money at best, (you know, pay up or something bad will happen) is looming and we must continue attempting to sway our council representatives to stand firm against Mayor Dean and his spendthrift ways, or pay the consequences.

Mayor Dean could obviously care less what the public thinks. He will leave office and move on, probably seeking another group of voters to pick clean, but Metro Council members live here.

If Metro Council caves, we must be sure to name those voting in favor and encourage citizens to boycott their businesses and throw them from office at the first opportunity if only to serve as a warning to future politicians of the public wrath.

By: thinking12 on 6/17/12 at 6:41

I think, possibly, it is the advent of the superpac that has let the politicans in our city not be concerned with what the voters think.

The superpac's have all the money to put up to convince us of what ever they think is in our best interest-(plese read this as "who ever has given them the best deal who they want to see elected or re-elected")......we have to be very diligent of where we get our information from now on.

The reason I think this is- the total lack of interest for our concerns from the mayor and most elected officals-but then who do they hand out the tax credits to......corporations. Who makes up superpacs.........corporations!

A real accounting of where every penny is spent would be the best solution-hard facts are not subject to interperation.

Every penny from last year would be a good place to start ! No rainy day fund-that just seems to mean "no real accounting".

By: JayBee56 on 6/17/12 at 8:57

Posted by Michael Cass of the Tennessean July 28th 2011: "District 25 Councilman Sean McGuire joined the list of Karl Dean-endorsed candidates today, when a new mail piece arrived at homes in the district –where the mayor lives. McGuire is ...being challenged in the Aug. 4 election by James Kaminski."

Sean McGuire was endorsed by Mr. Dean for the August 2011 election.

His credibility to craft an "alternate" budget is compromised because of this. It's still a Dean budget.

By: Shadow63 on 6/18/12 at 11:59

Here we go, ask for twice as much as you want, then settle for half. See how reasonable we are.
History has shown Nashville voters aren't paying attention and will let it happen, then vote the same crooks back into office next election.
Fire your councilman!

By: yucchhii on 6/18/12 at 12:29

How about this: The Criminals that run this city (That includes the DISHONERABLE MAYOR KARL "DINK") invest the money into cleaning up the city and KEEPING it creating jobs for "AMERICANS" to pick up trash off the streets and peoples lawns. It looks to me like the cleanliness is kept to the DOWNTOWN area. How about doing that to ALL the streets throughout Nashville. There is a job that could be benificial to "AMERICANS" in NASHVILLE who are desperate to get back to work!! BUT, THE DISHONERABLE MAYOR KARL DINK AND HIS HENCHMEN ARE TOO GREEDY TO GIVE A DAM ABOUT WHAT IS "NEEDED"!!

By: yucchhii on 6/18/12 at 12:32

Oh yeah...PS, How about making police officers start to ACTUALLY CITE PEOPLE FOR LITTERING!! If your going to display the cliche "Tennessee has had enough" of littering...then start CITING!! Otherwise peopleare just going to keep doing the idiotic things that riun it for everybody else!!!

By: BigPapa on 6/19/12 at 7:00

Ive posted this before, but it's worth saying again. Nashville Mayors realized a long time ago that the people that live in Nashville are the least of their concerns. They are there to serve the vested interests, that's downtown merchants, pro sports franchises, and a few of the corporations in town. That's been the priority for a long time, and will continue to be.

Look where we put our money, and that shows what we (nashville) value. hint: its not the people that live here, we re more concerned about those that might visit.

By: fedupwcowards on 6/19/12 at 9:26

VOTE THESE BETRAYING NASHVILLE MEMBERS OUT OF CITY COUNCIL OFFICE>..they INCREASED our taxes...Voting yes: Megan Barry, Ronnie Steine, Tim Garrett, Charlie Tygard, Jerry Maynard, Lonnell Matthews Jr., Frank Harrison, Walter Hunt, Brady Banks, Scott Davis, Peter Westerholm, Anthony Davis, Bill Pridemore, Doug Pardue, Steve Glover, Josh Stites, Bruce Stanley, Phil Claiborne, Sandra Moore, Burkley Allen, Erica Gilmore, Buddy Baker, Edith Langster, Sheri Weiner, Jason Holleman, Sean McGuire, Chris Harmon, Davette Blalock, Karen Johnson, Fabian Bedne, Jacobia Dowell, Carter Todd. THIS LINK to find the emails of these scoundrels and traitors to what is right and proper.....VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE....DO NOT LET THEM CHANGE YOUR MIND at ELECTION time....THROW THEM OUT!!