Saturday, September 26, 2015

"A budget is a moral document": Fifteen Suggestions for St. Augustine and St. Augustine Beach (Simultaneous Meetings Monday January 28, 2015)

My late mentor, Stetson Kennedy's widow, Sandra Parks former City Commisioner says, "A budget is a moral document."
Joseph R. Biden, Sr., father of the Vice President, told him, "Show me your budget, and I will tell you what your priorities are."
During the wars in Indochina, our United States Congress cut off funding for an illegal war in Cambodia in 1971, and for all wars in Indochina in 1973.
The wars in Indochina ended.
'Our troops came home. Our federal budget was a moral document, thanks to Senators John Sherman Cooper (R-Kentucky) and Frank Church (D-Idaho), et al. and the Cooper-Church Amendment.
Inspired by Cooper-Church, I propose that both local cities enact the following as budget riders:
1. No more foreign trips at taxpayer expense.
2. No more government contracts without competitive bidding.
3. No more  hiring of temporary workers for jobs without benefits.
4. Living wage of $15/hour for all city, city contractor and city franchisee employees.
5. Full forensic/compliance audits of all contracts and franchises, including FPL, tour trains and 450th contracts.
6. Disclosure of all contracts and disbursements/checks on website.
7. Equal pay for equal work -- end pay discrimination against women and minorities.
8. Evaluations for all employees, especially City Attorney and City Manager.
9.  Full financial disclosures for all board members.  No exceptions.
10. No evasions or delays or fee grabbing on  Open Records requests.
11. No more First Amendment violations.
12. Full disclosure of LLC beneficial ownership as condition of any zoning or planning permit.
13. Ethics Commission to enforce strong local ethics and disclosure requirements.
14. Inspector General and Ombudsman to protect the people from dishonesty.
15. No more illegal out-of-town Commission meetings.
What's next?
How many more Commissioners we elect before our budgets will be "moral documents?"
What do you reckon?

No comments: