Bangor Increases Property Taxes in Contentious 5 to 4 Vote

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Councilor David...
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Bangor Increases Property Taxes in Contentious 5 to 4 Vote

According to the finance director of the City of Bangor the overtime for the Police Department for FY10 was $836,000. A minority of the Bangor City Council supported a reduction of this overtime budget of $40,000 at our Monday night Council meeting.
Unfortunately, the measure was defeated.

Obviously, the reduction recommended Monday night was too small a reduction based on this inordinate amount of overtime.

If indeed one were to suggest a cap of 10% of labor cost for over time (which is still extremely high) then the number would be around $568,000. In the private sector, over 3% is imprudent and a signal to hire additional labor units.

In the case of public safety, we should allow some flexibility. However, the current level suggest the need of an efficiency review.

Bangor has also built up several reserve funds of taxpayers monies and the majority of the Council would not use any of these funds to offset property tax increases.

Needless to say, the City Council of Bangor passed a budget resulting in a property tax increase. I voted against the budget and have asked that my colleagues reconsider their vote.

Given the slim 5 to 4 margin, if we had a mayoral form of city government with a veto power, we could have had worked some magic like Paul Lepage has in Waterville.

David S. Nealley
City Councilor
Bangor, Maine