Citizens for Accountability and Responsible Spending
Why should you be concerned? Our city has a spending problem, not a revenue problem.
- Orem has 14 employees who make more than the Governor of Utah.
- For ten years the City gave $975,000 annually in sales tax rebates to one business, Woodbury Corp. (University Mall), a major campaign donor for a select few in this years Mayoral and City Council races. Click here to view campaign finance reports.
- The ballot question for a property tax increase is precipitated by failure of the UTOPIA project to reach revenue and service goals. All citizens of Orem would be required to pay for this service even though it is only available to a small fraction of the city.
- The Orem City librarian was paid over $172,000 in total compensation annually (FY ending 6/13). There are six other librarians who each are paid over $100,000 annually total comp. We love our Library and appreciate all our City workers, but are concerned when neighboring Provo has only two librarians with salaries in this range. Are we making the best use of our money? Are our essential services personnel (fire, police) receiving fair and competitive wages as well? http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/librarians.htm
Orem City needs an additional $1.7 Million in reductions to its $90 Million Budget to pay for UTOPIA. A short list of possibilities presented to but rejected by the City Council (except Hans Andersen):
- Cut the mall subsidy $975,000 Savings
- Reduce convention, travel and city food purchases $200,000 Savings
- Eliminate the cities credit card fees $200,000 Savings
- Delay purchase of half of new computer equipment $80,000 Savings
- Cut organization dues and CEDO $315,000 Savings
- Employees paid over $70,000 should pay $250/month for insurance $800,000 Savings
Are there solutions? Yes!
"We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive".
~ C. S. Lewis
It's time to get back on the right road:
- Elect a Mayor and Council willing to make the hard choices on critical issues.
- Make a course adjustment on UTOPIA - demand changes within the organization, increase transparency, stop further funding, seek a buyer
- Cease speculative funding of projects by "playing banker" (Midtown Village), placing our city at risk if/when the economy tanks
- Ensure ample notification and input from citizens is had when making changes that affect family neighborhoods (Golf course - proposed high rise by Univ. Mall)
- Seek input of all local businesses (not hand selected) on issues that affect them such as local sign ordinances and enforce them fairly and equitably between all areas of the City, for small and large businesses alike.