The lifeblood of an open, transparent and accountable democracy is active citizen participation. Just look at what happened in the cities of Bell, Montebello, Cudahy or Vernon where those residents/citizens were not paying attention. We can’t let that happen in Signal Hill. We need to ask tough questions, give fair and reasoned criticism, and suggest alternatives. Keep the city government accountable to us.
In a recent council meeting, I pointed out that the 2011/2012 budget is based on “rosy” assumptions about revenues and other questionable budgeting practices. None of these tactics are illegal. But, they hide the true state of the city’s financial health. THE CITY IS SPENDING MORE THEN IT RECEIVES IN REVENUE. Councilman Ed Wilson publicly acknowledged this fact. It wasn’t news to him.
But, it is news to us — Signal Hill residents, businesses, property owners and taxpayers. It took an active citizenry to bring that fact to light. And, it’s the sort of information that is vital to know in order for us to protect our quality of life, public safety, property values and the cost of living in this small city.
Click here to view Maria Harris’s commentary in its original context.
--- MEH, Originally Posted on Signal Hill Voice by Matt Simmons of Signal Hill