What’s Money Worth These Days Anyway?! by Tom Fodi

american dollars in the hands
I don’t know where to begin – expressions of thanks or frustrated  critiques. I suppose it’s six of one and half dozen of the other. Since it’s not even a week past thanksgiving, let’s start there.

Though part of this list might shock LiB readers, I would like to say “Thank you!” to the following people: Linda Woshner, Jane Braunlich, Jim Viscusi (can someone mark the time and date?), Kathy Coder, Mark Helbling, Lynn Heffley, and Ron Borczyk. These are the individuals, the only individuals not including myself, who were present for the first formal discussion regarding the 2014 Bellevue Borough budget. Let’s just be clear what this list includes: four out of the nine members 2014 Bellevue Council, two lame duck council members, and the borough manager. Though I might philosophically disagree with many in the room, I’m always willing to give credit where credit is due. The community of Bellevue thanks you for taking time out your day to discuss next year’s fiscal policy.

Now, let’s get to Liberty in Bellevue’s bread and butter – criticism of Bellevue’s political leadership. Where in the world was everybody else?! Jim Scisciani, councilman from the 3rd Ward, was the only one to notify the borough of his absence. However, Frank Camello and Sue Viscusi were no shows. George Doscher, the out going mayor, was also noticeably absent after he raised much concern regarding the subject matter. But, that only accounts for the sitting members of Bellevue’s elected leadership. What about the newly elected leaders: Matt Senvisky, Vencent Menosky, Paul Cusick, Henry Lenard….::crickets::….???

Admittedly, the newly elected leaders of Bellevue would not have an official seat at the table, yet. But, even I, the lone visitor with no official capacity in the borough whatsoever, other than leading this political accountability and liberty movement, was invited to offer comments during the meeting. One would think that the newly elected leaders would have at least some vested interest in the discussion concerning the borough’s 2014 fiscal policy…or is that just expecting too much? How can anyone question, challenge, or even work with the borough’s budget if they’re not willing/able to listen in on, or even participate, in its development?! I realize this might be “how things have always been done,” (out going council work out the new budget for the new council to manage) but what good has the status quo ever done for Bellevue?

Tonight at 7pm is the December Pre-Council Meeting immediately followed by a second round of talks concerning next year’s budget. Let’s hope this little kick in the hind section is all it takes for more to be involved in the planning process. See you tonight!

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10 Responses to “What’s Money Worth These Days Anyway?! by Tom Fodi”

  1. I am very sorry that it was not announced that I would not be attending the meeting due to work obligations. I notified the staff well in advance of my situation and that it would be ogoing
    George Doscher
    Mayor of Bellevue

  2. How self-rightous and arrogant. Since when is it Mr. Fodi’s job to attack and criticize those who could not attend the budget meeting without checking to see if we had conflicting schedules. As the executive director of the Hermann Museum, I was in a meeting with a contractor as I continue to make the museum an attraction for the borough. I worked worked with the Mayor, the manager and the financial clerk to develope the budget. Others who were not there may also have had conflicts and check for changes and updates on the discussions. I hardly need a “kick” and I resent the childish castigation.

    • It’s the job of LiB to make sure the borough residents know who has made time to participate in the planning process at a public meeting. I apologize if it came across as arrogant and childish, but one would think the mayor-elect would have some interest when the sitting council make drastic changes to the proposal. There’s no record of who does what behind closed doors. That’s been the primary challenge in our borough’s leadership for many years and one of LiB’s primary concerns. Your input would have been valuable last night. -Tom

  3. Tom — Thanks for being there, and for reporting. Didn’t find you to be self-righteous or arrogant. — Jim

  4. To Mayor-Elect Paul Cusick

    The only person who sounds arrogant and childish on this page is you. Tom and his team at Liberty in Bellevue have made it perfectly clear that they’re here to hold elected officials accountable. I remember how much you couldn’t handle criticism in your last term as mayor. I had hoped you grew past that by now. Perhaps I was wrong.

    The fact of the matter is, we should all be celebrating the fact we have someone like Tom who cares enough about the borough to attend and participate in countless meetings that the people we vote for cannot be bothered to attend! I, and many other residents/voters in this borough, cannot wait to support and vote for a man with his character, drive, and passion for the well being of our community. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a resident as passionate about the long term health of Bellevue as Tom. Rather than getting reactionary and defensive, I strongly suggest you get behind this man and thank him for all that he’s done for Bellevue to date.

    Chris

  5. To Mayor-Elect Paul Cusick: Your unwillingness to accept responsibility for yourself is troubling.

    “Since when is it Mr. Fodi’s job…”

    It is every residents job to report where you are during official business. Seems to me Mr. Fodi would make a better mayor.

    “meeting with a contractor” – ? Really? Grow up.

    Your attack on Mr. Fodi’s observations is a preview of the type of political craftsmanship we can expect from you.

    Paul Cusick, as Mayor-Elect, you are now under the microscope.

    • Thanks Al. For the record, his comment above notwithstanding, I like Paul and believe he will make a fine mayor. However, as I explained to another recently elected candidate last night, all public figures should expect and be comfortable with criticism.

  6. New members of council should farmiliarize themselves with the 2014 budget, as one of their first actions as elected officials may be to vote to re-open the budget.

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