Dear Williamsport City Council,
I would like to invest in several properties in Williamsport. I am also considering moving to Williamsport. But your actions will not allow me to do so. You have received record income from your mercantile tax, record income from your visitors bureau tax, record income from the Act 13 impact fee, and the Williamsport Parking Authority is handing over $75,000 for good measure. What does all of this mean to Joe Taxpayer? An increase in the amount he pays for owning property.
In return, he gets less protection due to a cut in the number of policemen and firemen. And guess what, you, the city, are not to blame. It's a broken record happening in small and large cities across the state, and indeed across the nation.
We all know that Mayor Campana is an oddball, and does not have the best negotiating skills, but for God's sake at least he is not ignoring the writing on the wall. The time has come for public employers (local, state, federal) to stop paying any and all health insurance and pensions. This is not the 1960's anymore. Police, teachers, and others make more than a fair wage. Give them an extra $5,000 per year and let them go find their own health care and invest in their own pensions, like those of us in the real world. My Blue Cross plan is being raised 24 percent next month and I will be paying over $18,000 per year to make sure my wife and kids are covered. But the truth is the 24 percent is only part of the story. I also have to pay for the premium increases for every teacher, policeman, councilman, fireman, Post Office employee, prison worker, judge, magistrate, congressman, state representative, and the list goes on.
The situation, of course, will get much worse before it gets better due to the inactivity of our elected officials and the fact that many of them believe that we should just continue to let Joe Taxpayer foot the bill until his foot has been amputated. In the mean time, we the taxpayers will pay more come January of 2013 and next fall, during budget talks, council will say "Our hands are tied". Wake up!
Submitted by Virtual Newsroom