If This U.S. Village Can’t Fix It, No One WillJanuary 2011
“It’s such a fine line between clever and stupid”
Spinal TapIt’s been a while since I updated you on my efforts to try to raise awareness regarding thebad financial trends in my own town, Garden City, NY. Despite the fact that GardenCity, NY is a relatively affluent community, the government shenanigans and financialtrends are almost a perfect microcosm of what is going on in America. Sadly, the GardenCity government increasingly passes the buck, tries to discount “critics” like me, andkeeps taking on debt (Figure 1) to hide the truth from the people. This and the apathyamongst most residents (latest voter turnout was below 10%) give me conviction torecommend that investors continue to reduce their bond weighting. I will explain.
During the approximately two years that Mr. Tadross and Mr. Rudolph haveoffered their opinions on village and school issues, not once has there been even ascintilla of positive advice. They have criticized every facet of village life. Last year they predicted a 10 percent increase in village taxes when in reality it was2.2 percent. They constantly harp on pension and health care costs which are not controlled by the village.New York State comptroller, Thomas DiNapoli,administers the N.Y.S. pension system. The health care system is the "EmpirePlan," which government employees are entitled to join.
-Dennis Donnelly currently serves as a village trustee, representing the easternsection of Garden City.
Figure 1. Garden City Village Property Taxes Have Been Up 10-15%Per Annum, When Including Borrowing
Y r . / Y r . C h a n g e B o n d s & T a x e s ( $ m i l . )
Y e ar / T e ar % C h an g ei nT r u eT ax e s
Yr./Yr. Bonded Debt (Reduction)/IncreaseYr./Yr. Property Tax Increase/(Decrease)True Tax Increase (Yr./Yr % Change)
Sources: Garden City financial filings, www.gardencityresidents.org calculations.
Mayor RothschildMayor BeeMayor LundquistMayor Miller Mayor LewisMayor Hecken