Ken Lawrence – A Common Sense Choice
On November 5 we have a choice of three candidates for mayor of Sandpoint, two of whom currently serve on the Council and have been guiding the city in a fiscal direction that is of concern. It does not match the City’s Vision Statement that calls for “excellent stewardship of public resources”.
I’m speaking of the budget increases we’ve witnessed between fiscal years 2015 and 2019, when Mayor Rognstad and City Council Chairwoman Shannon Williamson were, and still are, leading the Council.
During that time, the budget jumped from nearly $32 million to more than $44 million, an increase of close to 40%.
In a city of 8,000, this is completely out of line. By comparison, the City of Coeur d’Alene, with approximately 44,000 residents, had a budget of $90,685,504 in FY 2019. So CDA has five times more residents and a budget that is only twice as high as Sandpoint’s.
We are not a wealthy city, and to subject taxpayers to those budget increases while spending on questionable projects like artwork on multiple downtown corners and an extravagant roundabout art project means the Council is out of touch with ordinary citizens. Common sense would dictate that crumbling curbs and buckling sidewalks would be taken care of before we see exotic artwork in the business areas.
I think in this election, “common sense” is the operative word. My vote will go to Ken Lawrence, a longtime local businessman who will restore some of that and put us on a conservative fiscal path.
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