Thursday, October 8, 2009

Halt Naper Homestead Project

Does Naperville city government have even a nodding acquaintance with reality?  I ask because of the city's fantastic plan to develop a new park on the site of the original Joseph Naper homestead at the corner of Jefferson and Mill.

Where, may I ask, are the funds going to come from for this project?  From the city as it faces a $14 million budget deficit next year?  Or perhaps from the Naperville Historical Society which is so short on cash that they've had to cancel next year's Naper Days event?

Oh, I forgot.  They have the SECA grants.  Great sounding name, isn't it.  Makes you think some wonderful benefactor just pours out this money from the sky.  But that's not how it works.  SECA is funded by a 1% tax on food and beverage in this city.  That money, about $2.5 million per year, is then doled out to various charities for various projects of dubious worth.

The city doesn't live in the real world of financial constraints to which you and I are subject.  Rather than do any serious budget cutting next year, the city proposes to do SECA one better -- to establish a brand new city sales tax or to raise our already astronomical property taxes.  Yes, they plan to raise taxes during the worst economic decline since the Great Depression!

I ask again.  Does anyone in city government have even a nodding acquaintance with reality?  Even ol' Joe doesn't look happy about this!

Don't get me wrong; developing the Naper Homestead site might be a fine idea for another time.  But in the face of large city deficits and growing unemployment, it's a fiscally bone-headed and politically tone-deaf  idea.  What say we take half the SECA money and start putting a dent in next year's deficit.

I encourage all Tea Party Patriots to show up for the Naper Homestead public open house on October 13 at 6pm at the Naperville Municipal Center in order to provide a fiscal reality check to local government.

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