|Angle with a member of the County's "most valuable asset"|
Budget: "I've never heard of anybody fielding a Budget with a Line of Credit. ... That was a little bit mind-boggling. I've seen some interesting trickery under the Reibman administration, but even they wouldn't have done that one.
"So now the Executive's answer is to deplete the budgetary reserve. ... You understand you can't do that. You wouldn't do that in your business and I don't believe Mr. Brown would do it in his business. You can't do it in the people's business.
"You are the Council. Your number one most important job in a year's time - probably your only job other than ribbon cuttings - is the Budget. The Budget is his (Brown's) to submit, but it's your baby to pick apart and approve.
"I'll gladly sit down with any of you and help you draw up a Budget to offset that [the Executive's] Budget, which is, frankly, insane. You can't carry $1 million in your budgetary reserve and you're a 300 and some million business.
|A millionaire's hat|
"I've had a lot of employees call me. It's kind of comical because people still think I'm on County Council. ... Employees' morale is at an all-time low. Nobody stopped to think. OK, you want to chop into their health care. I understand. That's nationwide. People are paying more for their health care. But you also need to look into the big picture. Why did County employees work for the County all these years? Because the pay wasn't always all that great, but you did have good benefits and you had job security. ... Now all at once you're messing with that, and people are retiring because they can do better financially [by] retiring than they can do by continuing to stay here and work because of that proposal on the health care coverage.
"So is anybody starting to say when an employee retires, we can no longer get any work out of them ..., but we now have to pay them a pension for the rest of their life? Better to have those good employees still working here and happy versus the morale you got right now in this building. And it's not good. In all my years, I never had so many calls from employees about their morale.
|A millionaire's hat right behind the Executive|
"He's surrounded himself with people who weren't sharp. I was here through several administrations. Nobody was more critical of the Reibman administration than I. It was a passion. But I would give him credit. He was surrounded by good people who kept it running. ... He didn't make it run. Jim Hickey made it run. All of us who were here knew that.
"In the case of you, Mr. Brown, so far, in the one year you're in office, you hire a public relations person so you look good. I can tell you from many years in public service, if you're doing good work, you don't need a public relations firm. Voters will figure out you're doing a good job. You don't need a public relations firm.
"I don't know who you talked to about a $20 million line of credit to balance the budget, but it's insane.
"I looked at your cabinet. You needed to surround yourself, not with old friends from Bangor and people that you figure will help you politically. You need to surround yourself with people who add to your ability to make this a functioning county. And it's not happening.
"And for you Democrats on Council, Mr. McClure, you're number one. You don't need to spend your time making him look bad. He's doing a pretty good job of it on his own. You need to spend your time coming up with other ways to make things happen that are good here, Not making him look bad. He'll make himself look bad. ... Most of you Democrats have become obstructionists and somehow you Republicans, who hold a majority, aren't united. It shouldn't be that way. I understand why the Democrats want him to look bad. It's the game in Washington and it's the game here. It's sad, though, because we are the people who suffer when that happens.
Tax Increases. "Nobody likes to see tax increases. We all know that. If you're a conservative Republican like I and several of you are, we're for less taxes and less government. In the case of the Democrats - I used to be one - they're not going to vote for a tax increase because it looks bad to vote for a tax increase. That's not the real issue here, though.
"A leader is a person who makes the tough decisions that need to be made. Sometimes, it's a tax increase.
"You have to have a balanced budget that is doable, and right now, you don't have that. You do not have the budgetary reserve, and it requires a tax increase. Sure, it's going to be unpopular. If Mr. parsons, who replaced me, says we need a one mill tax increase, well, people are going to say he voted for the tax increase. That's not really what it's about. It's about the responsibility of the management of this County. If he [Brown] doesn't know how to do it, you are the checks and balances at budget time. It is your job, then, to do it. It is your job to pick his budget apart,"