Let#8217;s move forward, but not at residents#8217; expense

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 30, 2006

City Council is expected to begin serious budget deliberations on Wednesday, when a public hearing is scheduled.

Between now and the time a budget is ultimately adopted, residents will be hearing a lot about city council’s priorities. These are the items that council members have told city staff at their various retreats that are the most important to them. The administration supposedly budgets accordingly.

They include education, downtown and village development, recreation/quality of life, economic development, etc.


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Perhaps it’s time council add “citizen financial well-being” to its list? Many families in Suffolk are struggling under massive mortgages caused by a sizzling real estate market in recent years.

Despite having two incomes, many have used their home equity as ATM machines to be able to make their $300,000-to-$500,000 often variable rate (now rising), interest-only mortgage payments. People are struggling. The problem is compounded now by $3-a-gallon gasoline, which will likely only rise. Socking these folks with a huge increase in real estate taxes would be the height of insensitivity.

We all want Suffolk to move forward, but not on the backs of its families.