I've very consciously been disciplined in the topics I talk about.
Like all of us, I have a lot thoughts and beliefs on many topics. But I try to stay focused mostly on homelessness (and my spiritual journey working with the homeless).
I do that simply because many topics have become electrified with division and anger.
I almost guarantee you had a sharp feeling (probably of anger) as you read through that list. Some, or maybe all, of those phrases are triggers for many Americans.
They are attack words that our politicians have indoctrinated into us. We've become trained attack dogs by our masters when someone utters those words. Just watch how we go at each other on Facebook when someone dares mention any of those words.
The word 'homeless' is one of those rare words that hasn't been turned into an attack word. Some people like to say that homelessness is the fault of Democrats because most homeless people live in Democratically-run cities. It's an absurd theory. Like Republicans would welcome homeless villages in their wealthy bedroom communities.
No. Both parties play hot potato with the homeless. The homeless are a problem that no one wants to deal with. Even Bernie Sanders mostly just talks about "working Americans."
When I talk about politics with you I don't have any interest in talking about any of the issues above. While I certainly have theories about all those topics, I make a point to not talk about them here or in social media. While important, these issues divide us and make us hate our neighbors. I'll let someone else talk about these issues.
When I talk about politics the area I want to talk about is: Local Politics.
I am now WAY more into Akron city politics than I am into national politics.
National politics has a huge following. People love talking about it.
Part of that has to do with how well national politics is covered in the media. It's constantly in the national news. Stories are being told that spread to the entire nation, and sometimes world, instantly.
For example, if you care at all about national politics you probably know what budget Donald Trump is proposing.
Here's a bunch of reporters taking a picture of its cover:
If you live in Akron, do you know that the administration proposed an operating budget, (it was prepared by Dan Horrigan's Department of Finance) gave it to city council on March 11, 2019, gave them 2 weeks to look it over and told them they had to vote on it by the last day of March.
This budget has been presented, voted on and approved in 2 weeks and honest to God, I don't know if ANYONE reported on it. I can't find it anywhere. The Akron Beacon Journal is now mostly behind a paywall so the only people that can read those stories are wealthy people that have an extra $10 month to put on their credit card.
And it CERTAINLY isn't posted anywhere online by the city.
Let me give you some tidbits of the budget. (It was given to me by a city council member. Otherwise I would have never been able to get a copy.)
They propose that we are going to have this much revenue in 2019: $167,929,640.
They are spending $167,764,290
That leaves $165,350.
That gives them less than 1/10 of a percent room for error.
This is a problem because there is still a negotiation for raises for a bunch of people in the city. It could be a 2-3% raise for a bunch of people. There is no way we are going to stay in budget with this budget.
So, we'll have to do things like we did in 2017: sell leases to cell towers.
City officials said that about $5 million of the $11 million payment would be put into the city's cash reserve, doubling the amount available for unforeseen events like natural disasters. The remaining $6 million would be included as miscellaneous revenue in the city's 2017 budget.
This is when stuff gets really squirrely.
Did they really put that extra $6 million in the bank? I don't know. City council members I talk to don't know. I wouldn't be at all surprised if they were forced to sell these cell tower leases because they screwed up the budget and needed that $6 million to get out of the hole they got themselves into in 2017.
If we give those raises this year, which I guarantee will pass, then we're going to be in the same boat this year. We'll end up selling something else to pay for the overrun.
Let's talk about the airport. I mean, you know we own an airport, right? Well we do.
We pay a company named Summit Air to "run" our airport for us. We will pay them $436,449 to operate our airport.
We also pay an even $200,000 to the airport for "Interfund Service Charges." I have no earthly idea what that $200,000 goes to or who gets it. But money doesn't just get buried in a hole. I guarantee it's going into someone's pocket.
Don't forget: We only have $165,350 of room to move in our budget.
Oh wait! I forgot to turn the page. We have some airport upgrades we want to do this year. Those will cost us: $351,669.
I'll be excited to use those upgrades all the many times I use our city airport. (Oh wait. I've never used that airport. WHO THE HELL USES OUR AIRPORT? I just hope they enjoy all the nice upgrades we paid for.)
(Rocky just told me to tell you that we aren't talking about Akron-Canton Regional Airport where families fly to Florida and stuff. We are talking about Akron Fulton Airport. Their web site says they "offer first class F.B.O. services including fuel, passenger and pilot lobbies, car rental, catering, aircraft repair and avionics service, flight training, aircraft rental and charter, and pilot supplies. This airport is for rich people. It isn't for the people of Akron.)
Now let's talk about the golf courses. We own 2: Good Park and Mud Run Golf Course.
There are 3 budget pages for the golf courses.
One is for labor, fringe benefits and rental and leases. That will cost us: $1,032,810.
Then Mud Run has a budget of $287,206.
And then there is a "General Fund subsidy" of $311,000. What the hell!?
That is a total of $1,631,016 that goes to our golf courses.
Why the HELL do we need to pay $1.6 million to 2 golf courses?
But here's the thing: In that first million dollars there is labor and fringe benefits that total $616,471. Do you know how many full time employees they report?
According to the budget there are 3 people dividing up $616,471. Who are these people?
Who is making what?
The Akron City Operating budget is packed with this kind of bullshit.
And this is just the operating budget. Wait till we get to the capital improvement budget (that they hope you will never see). That's where the real money gets funneled off into the pockets of all the rich people in the city.
Do you know why you don't know any of this? Because no one wants you to know this.
And everyone is in on the scam. The Chamber of Commerce, the Beacon Journal, the Democratic Party. They all are hiding this stuff from you so they can get rich. They are all getting sweet jobs and funding for their pet projects.
You are being played. They see you as a sucker and they want to keep you in the dark.
And what's worse, because there is little to no hope anyone with anything other than a "D" next to their name is going to win any position of authority in Akron, our May 7 primary is the absolute most important election in Akron.
It is also the least attended election in Akron.
September 2015 was the last time we voted in a primary for Mayor of Akron. This was an incredibly important vote because we hadn't had an open election for mayor in 2 decades.
We have this many registered voters in Summit County: 213,783
Daniel Horrigan got 10,647 votes
Michael D. Williams got 8,088 votes.
I will talk about demographics in voting in Akron. But primary voters are significantly older than the median age. They read the newspaper and the newspaper told us to vote for Horrigan.
And of course, the newspaper makes a lot of money from the party in charge. The city posts notices all the time in the paper. And the well funded politicians buy ads in the paper constantly. Everyone is getting paid off to be in on the great Akron scam.
The entire point of this post is: we MUST get younger people and poor people and minorities to the voting box.
As long as old white people make all our election choices the people that actually need paid attention to by the government will forever be ignored.
This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. We must must MUST energize young people, poor people and minorities. I truly believe our city depends on it. There is a real possibility that the rich people will just keep skimming off of our city until we go bankrupt and become a ward of the state. This is a real possibility.
PLEASE! If you read this, Vote on May 7, 2019. Local politics effects you more directly than national politics ever will.