Merger has been a failure since its inception and largely due in part to those who worked the original merger plan. So what does Fischer do? He installs basically the same group who screwed us in the first place. Yep I know I sound bitter but really aren't you?
We have spent 8 years in merger under Abramson and the Democrat insider machine and nothing has been accomplished yet. Well except the money grab and power play against the County residents. Yep I said County residents because quite frankly we still have Jefferson County.
Metro Louisville supposedly merged government functions but never merged the land areas. Of course Government grew exponentially though merger was sold to us as a way of saving money in this venture as well. What we have seen is an all out effort to rake the County of money.
Much has been said for example about the Urban Services District taxes. Some true some not true.
The Urban services tax district pays higher taxes that cover the costs of such things as say garbage pickup. We in the County pay a private contractor to pick up our garbage instead of paying the higher taxes. That is just one example.
Many have falsely claimed that we receive services from the City at no cost to us in the County such as storm cleanup the last couple of years. Not exactly true either. Most of that cleanup was paid for with federal dollars NOT City dollars. Additionally, snow removal is under contract by Metro with the State who pays Louisville to plow their roads for them.
Get it yet?
So what has merger actually accomplished? Very little seemingly.
Let's take a look at the real reasons behind Merger 2.0. It is simple really. For the oldest reason on record. Money.
The City of Louisville has made serious mistakes under Abramson and is now poising itself to make many more under his counter part Fischer light. While no secret I haven't exactly backed Fischer, in my defense the decisions he is making thus far with staff and "task forces" is one big reason why.
Fischer said fire protection is on the table in light of the recent financial struggles that have been highlighted in some departments, such as Lyndon where the district has been forced to shut down a station periodically to accommodate sick time and leave because overtime money is not available. http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011301060048
Keep this in mind. The City recently got stuck with a whopping lawsuit that gave the firefighters roughly $42 million thanks to lack of leadership from Jerry Abramson who could have settled this for a much smaller amount instead opting to pay his lawyer buddies money to force a losing situation.
When this was brought to light immediately Abramson started going after the largest fund for firefighters in the volunteer districts. PRP.
I first brought this to light in December 2009 http://springston.blogspot.com/2009/12/council-members-blackwell-henderson.html. I knew then that the groundwork was being laid out to take over the volunteer departments and now they are setting the stage.
What will happen when they get that control? The money will be pooled and services will suffer right?
Yep that is one thing that will happen but part two is even worse.
They will expand the urban services district to include the County residents who now reside outside of it. At that point we will all be forced into higher taxes at 36 cents per hundred dollars.
Think your property taxes are high now? Just wait until they reassess them. Tony Lindauer's office is great at reassessing property to a higher amount even though the rest of the Country property values have been dropping like crazy and assessments lowered to reflect them.
But not here by Democratic party insiders like Lindauer, Abramson, and Fischer.
While I actually like the idea of reassessing merger, I fully think it is necessary, we must have an independent assessment done bu outsiders or by an equal number of citizens only within the City of Louisville and the County residents. The ones who are affected most on a daily basis because of this merger debacle are the most qualified to identify the problems and work with Fischer towards solutions.
We certainly do not need the same old recycled party faithful screwing this up once again.
With roughly 12,000 signatures need to force a referendum on the ballot to recall merger really how hard can it be to get that? Is that an option we want?
Now may be the time to evaluate that idea as well to keep the cronies from screwing us further. Merger for many has proven to be nothing more than a power grab by the City to take resources from teh County to subsidize their losses. It really is that simple. And it will get worse.
There are even some early comparisons that Fischer reminds many of Harvey Sloane. How did that work out for us?
Either way one thing is for sure.
With the same old tired retreaded cronies leading the way we can expect a reaming when this fiasco is all said and done.