The Ways and Means committee met on Jan 19 and being the first meeting of the year, a chairman needed to be selected. As in previous years, Jimmy Ward wanted to be chairman.
He and his supporters feel that because he is a CPA he will have a better understanding of the city’s finances and, just importantly, find ways to slash “out of control spending.” Remember, the city already has an excellent CPA on payroll, Debbie Suggs, and her work is stellar.
Jimmy was put into nomination by a passionate speech from Sandy “Fiscal” Ferencz. Alas, only she, Jimmy and JimDaddy Carrol voted for him to be chairman. Mayor Dick Cronin was once again elected to the chairman’s seat and newbie Ted Kinghorn was elected as vice chairman.
Jimmy Ward and his army of 2 seem to feel that if he is chairman he would have the power to cut out all the profligate spending. First of all, there is not that much of it (and if you think there is, please go on record and point it out) and second, he is only 1 vote.
Of interest, over the past 4 years our city council has had 5 fiscal conservatives who wanted to cut spending. Buckhannon, Carroll, Ferencz, Loftus and Ward. Yep, that’s a majority! They could have worked together and cut out all the waste. They could have “cut to the bone, baby!”
So, what actually happened? The budget went up each year!
One final point. To get things done in a representative democracy, you have to work with people who may not totally agree with you. You can disagree, but you can’t be disagreeable. (A perfect example of this on the national stage right now is Ted Cruz.) Jimmy PPO Ward is just not pleasant to work with according to other council members. Even when he had a good idea, others are less likely to listen.
So, a new year, some new council members, and the same result. But that is fine because Mayor Dick Cronin has done an excellent job of leading the committee, and despite some strange misperceptions out there, he has not sneakingly shoveled boatloads of money into Wild Dunes!