Emmitsburg Budget FY-06-07-08

June 21, 2007 at 5:48 am | Posted in Emmitsburg, Hold that line!, Laying it the line ;-) | Leave a comment

This email that follows was sent to Emmitsburg Commissioners and to Newspaper Reporters January 3rd, 2007. The Audit report March 19th 2007, for the FY ending June 30, 2006 had a surplus of over $100,000 which went into this years 07 budget as “found money” which the Town Govt. could spend at will without having to do budget transfers or Commissioner oversight.
That $100,000 plus unspent money amounted to almost a 7 cent surplus in the property tax rate of 36 cents as each 1 cent amounted to about $14,000 revenue in FY 2006. Or the town could have operated on 29 cents tax rate to have provided the services that they did supply.

In the Budget Message for FY 2008 there is no estimate of the amount of unspent surplus factored into the 08 budget.

Now each of the past 3 fiscal years there has been an increase in the sum of money that town residents pay for the priviledge of living in Emmitsburg. A 13 cent increase for the Emergency Service Fund, a 3 cent increase FY 2007 (via the increase of 3 cents over the constant yield rate) and the proposed FY 2008 3 cent increase (via the increase of 3 cents over the constant yield rate) Meaning the town gets more total money with out raising the tax rate.
Yet my propery tax bill for Emmitsburg rental properties is larger each and every year which means every one in town including low income residents (which we are trying to help afford a home) pays more rent which is driving long term residents out of town or even out of state.

It borders on the obscene that the Town of Emmitsburg cannot , in light of tremendous FY 2006 and Fy 2007 surplus, cannot operate on the same amount of money raised by the property tax each year. With huge surplus’s left over at the end of each FY the tax money extracted could actually be decreased to help keep citizens able to afford to live in Emmitsburg.
As the town keeps receiving more revenue , the “Affordable Housing” initative is further damaged. Rental property investors have to receive a reasonable return on their equity and they are in competition with other areas as to affordable housing so they may have to sell out and relocate or not even enter the Emmitsburg market in the first place if they cannot raise the rent to cover each increase in the tax bill on a given rental property.

Now I respectfully ask the Town Staff to tighten up on spending. The residents of the town have to adjust to changing income cash flow, so should the Town as it is not a god given right that tax revenue must go up just because Staff says it is so.
The town spends money like a drunken sailor. A christmas party which no one needs, a $25,000 playground that no one uses, no bid contracts which enriches the contractor, free water and sewer for emergency services, forgiveness for building fees, mowing the grass too often, donating to charity’s, etc. Its easy to tighten up if, if the commissioners have the fortitude to cut and slash and readjust.

From: ojmartin@gmail.com
Subject: Emmitsburg Budgets 2006, 2007, 2008
Date: January 3, 2007 7:13:11 AM EST
To: hooverje@msn.com, cvstaiger@verizon.net
Cc: richard_fulton@emmitsburgspirit.com, imjmezo@yahoo.com, jrada@thedispatch.us

The accountants report is now available for the Emmitsburg FY 2006 budget year that ended June 30, 2006.

Now (early 2007) is a good time to get the numbers from the accountant as to the amount of

surplus from FY2006 in the General Fund and the Enterprise Fund.

She should make a report in public as she did last year. What recommendations will she make about the budget process?

These funds must be separately broken out to see how much carryover funds are available this year (FY2007) to add to the rainy day funds for the two major accounts (General fund and Enterprise fund) or what ever is decided on how to spend the funds.

As part of the budget process there should be an estimate made as to the surplus projected in the budget on June 30 2007 so that can be incorporated in the 2008 budget.

Also the preliminary deliberations for budget for 2008 which starts July 1. 2007 is to be announced in a January 2007 meeting by the Mayor and Staff per request by council at a previous meeting.

PS; The City of Frederick has their report already available (by the same accounting firm as Emmitsburg) and they had a $3M surplus for last fiscal year which they placed in their “rainy day fund”

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West Virginia Day

June 21, 2007 at 5:43 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

June 20th 1863 is the birthday of West Virginia. Nick Rahall’s speech yesterday : HT Back porch politics

To honor West Virginia, I thought it would be fitting to post Nick Rahall’s Extension of Remarks in the Congressional Record:

Madam Speaker,

I rise on this special day to honor my home among the hills, the great State of West Virginia. It was on June 20, 1863, that West Virginia became the 35th state to enter the Union.

The distinctiveness of West Virginia can be traced to its unique founding, as the only state to have been formed as a direct result of the Civil War, through Presidential proclamation.

In a reaction to Virginia’s overrepresentation of eastern planters in the state legislature and complicated further by the swirling political issues of the day, on June 11, 1861, delegates from Virginia’s western counties met to nullify Virginia’s secession from the Union. Fifty counties (all of present-day West Virginia except for the land that now comprises Mineral, Grant, Lincoln, Mingo, and Summers Counties) constituted the newly formed state and served as the genesis of the vibrant and diverse place we know today as West Virginia.

The Constitution of West Virginia was approved in April of 1862, and in May of 1863, Arthur I. Boreman became our first governor. By June 20, 1863, West Virginia was officially a sovereign state. The sheer beauty of West Virginia now stands in stark and welcome contrast to the ugly conflict from which it was born.

Since its inception, West Virginia has been blessed with a striking landscape, placing it — we West Virginians believe — in a league all its own. The West Virginia State Motto — Montani Semper Liberi — “Mountaineers are always free,” sums up our powerful love of liberty and pays homage to our beautifully rugged lands that have honed our grit and determination, while attracting thousands of visitors each year.

West Virginia has historically been leader in steel, glass, aluminum, chemical manufacturing, and natural gas industries. Small family farmers continue traditions that have served them for generations, providing, among other goods, some of the world’s best apples. And our miners, who have long produced the coal that made our country strong, continue to dig to keep our national economy running.

But, as the old saying goes “nothing endures but change.” And we are seeing a change in West Virginia. In fact, West Virginia’s foray into new technology has provided new horizons for her residents, opening West Virginia for business while allowing us to remain wild and wonderful.

West Virginia my be 144 years old today, but it is just beginning to blossom. Our future is as bright as an early summer morning sunrise over the Appalachian hills.

Today, and every day, West Virginians thank the Lord for our bountiful blessings. We are kindred spirits, bound together in loyalty and love for our fine state. And everyday, wherever we may roam, we think of “happy home” and that place among the hills that truly is “Almost Heaven.”

It seems entirely appropriate to celebrate by everyone singing

West Virginia Hills
Words by Mrs. Ellen King,
Music by H. E. Engle

1. Oh, the West Virginia hills! How majestic and how grand,
With their summits bathed in glory, Like our Prince Immanuel’s Land!
Is it any wonder then, That my heart with rapture thrills,
As I stand once more with loved ones On those West Virginia hills?

CHORUS:

Oh, the hills, beautiful hills, How I love those West Virginia hills!
If o’er sea o’er land I roam, Still I’ll think of happy home,
And my friends among the West Virginia hills.

2. Oh, the West Virginia hills! Where my childhood hours were passed,
Where I often wandered lonely, And the future tried to cast;
Many are our visions bright, Which the future ne’er fulfills;
But how sunny were my daydreams On those West Virginia hills!

CHORUS

3. Oh, the West Virginia hills! How unchang’d they seem to stand,
With their summits pointed skyward To the Great Almighty’s Land!
Many changes I can see, Which my heart with sadness fills;
But no changes can be noticed In those West Virginia hills.

CHORUS

4. Oh, the West Virginia hills! I must bid you now adieu.
In my home beyond the mountains I shall ever dream of you;
In the evening time of life, If my Father only wills,
I shall still behold the vision Of those West Virginia hills.

CHORUS

John Wayne recites the Pledge of Allegiance

June 14, 2007 at 9:15 am | Posted in Hold that line!, Laying it the line ;-), One-liner | Leave a comment

Here is the link.

Flag Day (Or do they still teach patriotic songs to children?)

June 14, 2007 at 8:53 am | Posted in Hold that line!, Laying it the line ;-), One-liner, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rick of Right Wing Nuthouse gets it right with this excerpt from his blog:

Yes, she’s a “Grand Old Flag.” A little tattered perhaps. A little careworn as a result of neglecting some of the principles on which our nation was founded; self reliance, tolerance, and that fighting for freedom is a good and sometimes necessary thing. But despite her appearance, she still flies proudly, snapping in the breeze as a reminder to all that choose to see it, that this is still the greatest country ever created filled with the most remarkable people ever born. And despite all of our problems, disagreements, mistakes, and failures, there is still no place on earth I’d rather live.

Here is a link to the rest of the post.

Only in America

June 12, 2007 at 1:41 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

HT to Sigmund, Carl and Alfred

Gassaway HS 1966

June 12, 2007 at 8:40 am | Posted in Laying it the line ;-), One-liner | Leave a comment

As I mentioned in an earlier post a former student of mine in Gassaway HS WV, is world renowned glaciologist.  Here is a link to the Charleston Daily Mail news article.

S.Fran and the Blue Angels

June 12, 2007 at 8:16 am | Posted in Hold that line!, Laying it the line ;-), Lineup, One-liner | Leave a comment

Michelle Malkin has a story on the support for the Blue Angels in San Francicso. She mentions that the maybe if the Blue Angels fly naked, San Francisco would support their air show!

Funny homemade music video

June 11, 2007 at 8:23 am | Posted in Laying it the line ;-), Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Here is a funny music video I found posted on kevinrose.com

Link:

Facebook The new social network google?

June 11, 2007 at 7:52 am | Posted in Hold that line!, One-liner, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Here is a link to an article by Jeff Jarvis who wrote in The Guardian thus in conclusion:

Zuckerberg’s ambition for Facebook -which he has so far refused to sell, even though it is said he has been offered more than $1bn – is nothing less than for it to become the social operating system of the web, the Google of people. If the service opens up yet more – if it becomes the twine to tie together my lives online in my blog, my work, my town, YouTube, Flickr, Del.icio.us, Amazon, eBay, Twitter, and more – then his ambition may be attainable. That would be elegant organisation indeed.

Its time to check this out. Facebook is now available to anyone.

Catoctin High School “Frednecks”

June 8, 2007 at 3:00 pm | Posted in Hold that line!, Laying it the line ;-), One-liner | Leave a comment

Here is a CHS graduate fredneck Richard Troxell

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