During "courtesy of the floor," council had two unusual speakers, Stoffa and Angle. In his brief remarks, Stoffa bluntly told council, "At the rate we're going, we'll have a tax increase next year." He also warned council about borrowing large sums of money in this economic climate. "I don't like to borrow money. For every dollar you borrow, you pay back two." He suggested we should consider giving our parks to the townships because they are money pits for county government, noting that the Weaversville Park will require at least seven full-time employees to maintain once it is completed. He claimed that our biggest problem is our prison, which he called a "lawsuit waiting to happen." Finally, he criticized himself, saying "I probably could have done better with council. I hope we do better next year."
When it was his turn, Angle branded claimed it was a "totally irresponsible budget" because it fails to plug a growing deficit in the pension fund. Angle claimed that gap currently is $78 million, nearly as much money as the county realizes in real estate tax revenue over the course of a year. He also pointed to the county's swaption deal, which will cost it another $14 million. Finally, he ridiculed the notion of building a new park in this economic climate. "You have money for a park, but not for human services."
Council member Lamont McClure voted against the creation of most new positions, joined by Angle. Nobody's happy, but nobody wants to tinker too much more with a budget that provides for no tax increase next year.