, Gloucester, MA


September 26, 2013

Letter: Looking more closely at mayor's 'leadership'

To the editor:

Campaign season has started, and, to quote our president, “it must be silly season.”

This is not a letter endorsing a candidate, but facts have to be put forth, and it seems Mayor Kirk is running on a record that seems mystifying.

Saying the mayor inspired citizens to run with projects, or the hiring personnel is because of her leadership is a decision for voters. However, saying she got us out of a financial hole is, I believe, misleading and/or ignorant.

The mayor has taken credit for her chief financial officer cleaning up the books, doing the accounting of the city, and holding taxpayers accountable for their liabilities. Yes, it is something past administrations got away with, either because of negligence or clear incompetence, but why does someone deserve credit for just doing their job?

What the mayor never talks about is how she uses the taxpayer to fund her never-ending dreams such as a new elementary school, I-4, C-2, HarborWalk, and windmills to name a few. She never considers the plight of the taxpayer.

There seems to be no recognition of the recession in the private sector, which provides all government spending. Half of the population have seen their incomes decline by 8 percent in the last 5 years. Seniors living on fixed incomes and small savings in federal bonds or CDs, have seen diminished income because of low interest rates.

Increases in taxes, fees, medical insurance, water and sewer etc, leaves disposable income non-existent in many homes, and youth unemployment is over 16 percent. Does the mayor understand the impact this is having on the families of Gloucester?

The mayor has not brought in new industry to create new, high paying jobs, and diversify the tax base. Why not? She gives lip service as does her administration, but she does she understand the arbitrary nature of how property taxes are assessed. Why are some property taxes up over 25 percent over the last 3 years, and some not all?

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