Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Soon-To-Be-Famous Cohen Postcard

It might be hard to see, so I'll summarize. It's a Cohen piece with Obama's picture that says "continue our progress by voting for the following candidates", then shows Cohen along with the African American Democrat candidates running on Tuesday. Noticeably absent are the Caucasian Democrat candidates, prompting obvious cries of racial politics, divisiveness, the same old story, and certainly NOT the politics of change and bringing people together.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

How Much Money Does The City Make From Parking

This isn't what I would call a "hot button issue" right now, but I had to look this information up today, and I want to write it down before I forget it. I actually called city finance director Tim Elliot to verify this information, and was immediately reprimanded the the Political Bloggers Alliance (Local 637) for breaking their "RAM" business model for blogging: Rumors, Attacks, & Misnomers.

So, for no particular reason other than you might like to know, here are some facts about parking costs and revenues in 2010.

-The parking garages are managed by Park America. The city will pay them $1.02 million and they will manage and staff the garages and 2 lots owned by the city.

-The garages and 2 lots will generate about $3.7 million in revenue (which the city gets).

-The garages and lots will produce a surplus (profit) of about $800,000, after accounting for depreciation, the money paid to Park America, debt service on the bonds issued to build the garages, and other expenses.

-If you want to know how much money each specific garage produces, you can look at the budget for the Central Services Department.

-The garages and lots are collectively known as "off street parking" and the budget details can be found in the "off street parking enterprise fund".

-The on-street parking is listed in the budget as "parking operations". Parking operations are listed in the budget for the transportation department but as of last year they are actually a part of the police department.

-Expenditure on parking operations is estimated to be $739,000. $680,000 of that is salaries and benefits for parking enforcement officers, and the rest is gas for their vehicles, and other things.

-Parking operations revenue is budgeted at $1.8 million: $900,000 each from parking meters and citations.

-Parking operations therefore results in a surplus (profit) of about $1.06 million.

-The city plans to collect $78,500 through the sale of residential parking permits.

So, to answer the question that is the title of this post:

$800,000: profit from off-street parking (garages and lots)
$1,061,000: profit from parking operations (meters and tickets)
$78,500: sales of residential parking permits
$1,939,500 total 2010 profit associated with parking.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bowling vows to repeal 54% increase in Liquor Fees

For Immediate Release

Contact: Scott Bowling, 443-822-3170
Corey Stottlemeyer (301) 331-8028

Bowling vows to repeal 54% increase in Liquor Fees

(Annapolis, MD, October 19,2009) Today, Scott Bowling (Candidate for Alderman, Ward 3)
denounced Mayor Ellen Moyer, Finance Committee Chair Classie Hoyle, and the rest of the
Annapolis City Council for the 54-percent increase in liquor fees for restaurants, taverns,
package goods stores, and hotels and vows to introduce a budget amendment to repeal this
increase when elected on November 3rd• These fee increases on residents and businesses that are buried in the budget and passed by the Council under a cloud of secrecy must end.

According to The Capital editorial on Sunday, October 18,2009, Finance Committee Chair,
Alderwoman Classie Hoyle stated "the liquor license fees were in the budget, had anyone
bothered to look". The Capital goes on to say, "That's the problem: The council thinks it's the
taxpayer's responsibility, not its own, to know about fee increases. The Alderman would rather
tell us about awards and plastic bag bans."

"Once again, the Mayor and Council are going out of their way to hurt our local businesses in
Annapolis," said Bowling. "Worse yet, they are making these laws in a vacuum. They are not
talking to the businesses that are affected by the fee hikes."

These new fees come on top of a 30-percent increase from the previous year, placing liquor fees
in Annapolis significantly higher than Baltimore City and other Maryland municipalities.

"In these tough economic times, the Mayor and City Council should be working with businesses,
not taxing them," said Bowling. "Unfortunately, this is what we have come to expect from
Alderwoman Hoyle, Mayor Moyer, and their cohorts at City Hall."

"At best the Council was negligent in approving these fees without a more transparent process," said Bowling. "At worst, they were deceptive."


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Yes, This Blog Is Alive

I'm going to take a minute to address the following comment that I received on my most recent blog update:

Paul A. Richards said...


No postings for 3 weeks -- then a political ad. Is this a Fox blog?

Please explain.

October 17, 2009 7:14 PM

Short answer: yes the blog is alive, and no, it's not a "Fox Blog".

And now for the long answer*.

(*Note: blogs are known for long answers to short questions.)

I started this blog like 2 and a half years ago to combat boredom. Having recently underwent ankle surgery, I was looking for a way to entertain myself without ruining the surgical precision of Dr. Holt, so I decided to use my limited writing talent and limited knowledge of politics to produce a blog that was of interest to a limited number of people.

When I started the blog, my life was RELATIVELY stable. I enjoyed a modicum of free time, and the blog thrived!

These days, the life is not so stable. My basement keeps flooding, Mrs. Politics wants me to take her out to dinner all the time**, work is growing ever busier, and various other factors have conspired to minimize my free time. Since I have no intentions of using this blog as a career or a money maker, it gets last priority and I post if and when it suits me. Lately, it's been not that much.

(**Note to Mrs. Politics: just kidding! Sometimes I have to exaggerate to increase the popularity and ratings of this blog. And if this blog is popular, we are a popular couple! Work with me.)

I am working on the Fox campaign. That's not a secret. Because my time is limited and because my opinion is biased, you see Fox updates and promotions here. However, this blog is not a "puppet" of the campaign. There are differences between policies that I advocate here and what the next Mayor of Annapolis advocates on his campaign platform.

Don't worry! Election day is November 3rd. On my calendar, November 4th is scheduled as "Bars and Cigars". But starting November 5th, I will return to my "pre-campaign and pre-crazy-work" level of blogging, and all will be well once more.

Also I hope to live blog the next council meeting, so mark your calendar!