Friday, December 17, 2010

JHD Comments for City Budget Committee

A big thank you to John Detweiler. I meant to post this earlier but the information John submitted to the Corvallis Budget Committee on 12/10 is still pertinent and important. --bc

To: Budget Commission
From: John H. Detweiler
Subj: Comments for 12/13/10 Budget Commission meeting.
You are about to go through the agony of establishing priorities and deciding what to cut from the Corvallis 2011-2012 budget. You will hear the advocates of the library, aquatic center, senior center, police, fire, and other services tell you that the service they are advocating is more important than any other service and that Corvallis can't live without that service.

I encourage you to put more weight on the results of the Davis, Hibbitts & Midghall, Inc. (DHM) telephone survey of voters conducted in October than the words of individual service advocates because the survey represents the priorities of Corvallis as a whole, not the priorities of the noisy few. The priorities of Corvallis as a whole, extracted from DHM are, in order: public safety (fire and police), social services and the library, followed by parks & recreation with the aquatic center being of lesser priority than other parks & recreation programs. The details of my
analysis can be found at:

Any cuts made to lesser priority services should be made in addition to cuts resulting from more efficient operations and reductions in personnel compensation. Moreover, user fees - not taxes cleverly disguised as user fees - should be charged so that the people who actually use the service pay for the service. For example, the entrance fees to the aquatic center should be raised enough to replace the subsidy from property taxes.

You are also going to consider putting a levy on the May ballot to fund city services. If a levy is put on the ballot, and is not too high for the likely voter - who has a higher household income than the population of the Corvallis MSA -- it will probably pass. However, if local taxes are increased, the increase will hurt many people with lower incomes. Moreover, the number of people with lower incomes has increased between 2008 and 2009. The details of my analysis of Corvallis household incomes can be found at:
John H. Detweiler; web page =>


Post a Comment