Our View: Tell City Council what’s on your mind

Jun. 05, 2013 @ 01:22 AM

High Point residents and small businesses will see a monthly $5 garbage collection fee, an electric rate hike of 4.9 percent and increases in water and sewer rates of 4 to 6 percent, if the city budget for next year goes through as proposed.
The proposed budget for 2013-14, as it stands, contains those fee and rates hikes, even though the budget also holds the city’s property tax rate at 67.5 cents per $100 of assessed value.
But it seems that most High Pointers are OK with these fee and rate increases — at least based on the turnout of city residents at a public hearing on the budget Monday night.
According to reports, only about a dozen people showed up at City Council for a public hearing on the budget proposal. And most questions about the proposed budget were voiced by former City Council candidate and current member of the city Planning and Zoning Commission Cynthia Davis.
As this budget currently stands, High Pointers will have less money in their pockets next year. Higher fees and higher utility rates will raid a resident’s pot of available spending money. But city residents do have another chance to stand up and tell City Council their feelings about the budget proposals.
Another public hearing is set for 9 a.m. Thursday in Council chambers in City Hall. It will be a time for residents to vent — if venting is necessary. But it also will be an ideal time for residents to express ideas on how the city could save money and reduce expenses or even suggest that funds be added to the budget.
The key thing here is that residents take advantage of the opportunity to communicate with their elected officials about the proposed budget. If you think city salaries are too high and should be reduced, now’s your chance to say so. If you think City Council should be spending more to promote cultural events or to support city revitalization efforts, now’s your chance to say so.
And if you don’t take this opportunity to tell elected representatives your views on the proposed budget for next year, it’s your own fault. Take advantage. Turn out at Thursday’s public hearing and express your view.