Thursday, May 15, 2008

News Update

For those of you who would like an update on the issues of the day:

1. The budget is up almost 7%, again. This is because salaries and benefits are determined by union contracts, and this is what the city has negotiated. Also, the mayor keeps creating new departments and staffing them with expensive help. The property tax rate actually had to be increased to accommodate this, a somewhat rare occurrence as usually rising home values allow more money to be collected with the same or lower rate. Construction overruns and frivolous capital projects have caused our debt service costs to double, to like 8% of the operating budget. This is not good. Plus our water plant was built in the Mesozoic Era and we don't have money to fix it.

2. The market house is a total embarrassment.

3. Homicides are on a record pace for the 3rd year in a row.

4. The city is involved in at least 4 lawsuits that I know of.

5. I am running a mayoral campaign for Chris Fox, and he will win.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fox doesn't have a chance in hell of winning, and I think it's a mistake to hitch his half-cocked cart to your horse.

The Fresh Stop said...

First time blogger :)

Good research on The Market House. I'm one of the remaining tenants :( I have lots to say so I'm happy to have found your site.

Brian Gill said...

First, I don't have a horse. I don't need him to win so he can appoint me to an office, because I already have a job. I am not going to run for office anytime, soon, so I am not trying to gain notoriety for that.

Second, don't be surprised if his half cocked cart is the one determining your property taxes in 2010.

What ever happened to the idea that people can step up and run for office because they want to fix problems? The idea that only career politicians can win races is crazy...look at what your current career politicians have done and you will see the credibility of our campaign.

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with citizen activists stepping up to the plate and running, in fact, I'd encourage it. Other than rant about beggars and "what's wrong with Annapolis", what has Mr. Fox done for the City?

Brian Gill said...

That blog is actually written by Chris' brother, Andrew.

As far as the question, I suppose you could say that rehabilitating that property where their business is constitutes doing something for the city, but a point that we are trying to make is that it is not absolutely necessary to have a long history of public service to be a good elected public servant.

In other words, past community inovolvement does not guarantee success in elected office. Chris has innovative ideas (that, believe me, are not constrained by political decorum), and our challenge during the campaign is to convince the voters that we can follow through on implementing those ideas. If we accomplish this, what Chris has done for the community in the past will pale in comparison to what he will do.

Anonymous said...

Such as allowing non-resident business owners a vote?

Anonymous said...

Don't business owners pay taxes to the city in the same manner as residents? I think that they should have a voice in the way that their tax monies are spent. We fought a war over this a couple of hundred years ago.

Tim

Anonymous said...

Yes, and foreign nationals who have businesses in the US should be allowed to vote as well, right?

Anonymous said...

Brian, you need to start raising money, Moyer needed $100k to run on her record. Adopt the slogan "Let's undo the Moyer disaster", and you will catch everyone's attention in Annapolis. The leading candidates all most likely current council members, who have a very easily attackable record of supporting Moyer's budgets and creation of useless departments. I can't find you email, but post it and I will give you some ideas for improving Annapolis that will ready give Fox some credibility.

Anonymous said...

They're not US citizens. Big difference.

Tim

Brian Gill said...

Chris and I have spoken about the business issue and haven't really reached a consensus. The idea to have an alderman representing businesses is not well placed in my opinion, and allowing non-resident business owners to vote in elections would invite the opportunity to corrupt the will of the people--anybody could register an LLC with an Annapolis address and get a vote--what's to stop a big company from having all of their employees do such a thing and have thousands of votes for a particular candidate?

Business owners can currently "cast their vote" by donating to campaigns and by deciding if/where they are going to be in business. That might be the best we can do.

And to the other commenter, we have registered our committee and can start raising money now. I am finishing up the web site and we should be able to start active fundraising sometime in the summer.
People who want to donate can email me!

Also, everyone will be running against Moyer. Our strategy will also involve emphasis that Chris' politics (not ideas) are crude at best, which we think gives him an advantage--this campaign will be a lot of fun for me because the ideas are so unique and unconstrained by political decorum.

Anonymous said...

They certainly are crude. More corporatized government, just what we need.

Anonymous said...

More corporatized government is what we need. Corporations operate within a budget, city government doesn't.

Anonymous said...

A corporation wouldn't have tolerated the end results of the Market House debacle. Not a single person was held accountable for that. And a corporation doesn't dole out automatic salary raises with no consideration of performance on the part of the employee. I'm not looking for a facist state, but it wouldn't hurt to have someone with some business savvy running Annapolis.

Tim

Anonymous said...

"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini.

Anonymous said...

Did you really just quote Mussolini to validate your point of view?

Brian Gill said...

I actually do not think that governments should look to the corporate world for inspiration. In fact, the defining feature of a government is that is is the precise opposite of a corporation.

Corporations have no inherent authority over citizens. If they want to make money, they must create value. The profit they make is the measure of their value to society. More importantly, when corporations invest in R & D, or risk money on something, they are risking THEIR OWN money.

When the city undertakes in economic development, invests in various businesses, or gives subsidies, it is risking money that they claimed--not earned--from the strength of their citizenry. It is not the role of a government to make speculative investments.

Government exists to provide services that the market cannot, and although a corporate attitude may bring effeciency, it must not underlie the strategic direction of city government.

Peter said...

Brian I have to disagree with you. Government's role is to step in when there is a market failure. Government has to step in when there is a high investment, low return project, ie utilities, public safety, fire etc. But government must still approach those projects with the intent of reducing costs, running efficiently etc. Government has different objectives, to provide services that private industry just doesn't want to tackle, but if they don't do it business-like efficienvy, we get results like BGE customer service or comcast incident responses. BGE and Comcast are essentially govt sponsored monopolies.

Brian Gill said...

Peter, we don't disagree as much as you imply. I wrote that government provides services where the market cannot, and you said that government should step in when there is a market failure--basically the same thing.

Let me clarify...government should be effeicient, properly deal with budget constraints, etc. It should devote ALL NECESSARY resources, not THE EFFECIENT LEVEL of resources, to those endeavours where there is a market failure and the government has to step in, such as police and fire.

Regarding BG & E et al, such government sponsored monopolies are called "natural monopolies" and exist when open market competition results in such a gross waste of resources (high fixed cost) that it would be against the best interests of the economy to allow competition. This is very rare, but most would agree that duplicate sets of power lines erected by multiple companies simply would not be worth the benefits brought from competition.

In the case of power, we are in a rough spot because the government (1) has no expertise in the power buisness and (2) is susceptible to political pressures, so we end up with what we have now. Certainly some governments do it better than others, but I suppose that a move towards competitition for the supply of electricity is optimal, even if the fee for the lines which deliver that power is still governed by a natural monopoly.