"The taxpayers in my estimation are concerned about layoffs, furloughs and services."
That quote was from Mayor Dickert and can be found here as part of a larger discussion about a 2.7% tax increase.
I am just one Racine taxpayer who would prefer not to have my concerns estimated. I prefer to be direct.
Here are my concerns Mayor Dickert: As you know, Racine continues to have high unemployment. Also, our properties have lost value. What this means is that Racine taxpayers have even less money and or net worth than they did a year ago. I am concerned about those people, many of whom will have great difficulty paying their taxes. I am less concerned about city employees. They have jobs with benefits that no longer exist in the private sector. They are doing just fine. But alas, something must be done. Sacrifices must be made. My concern is that all the sacrifices are being made by the taxpayers. I am also concerned about your apparent view of the role of government. It is not to ensure full employment for city workers. Rather it is to provide for the needs of taxpayers, constrained of course, by their ability to pay. I am concerned that we have reached a point in Racine where the tax burden is simply too high for many individuals and businesses to thrive in Racine. I am concerned that this burden will lead to more unemployment, more foreclosures and a weakened private economy. If you were to introduce layoffs of city employees, or furloughs, or reduction in city services with a commensurate savings to taxpayers, you would show Racine taxpayers that you understand their struggles. My final concern is that my concerns will not be shared, expressed, or represented by any Racine officials.