• 68°

Sending a message

The people have spoken; and quite clearly, too.

It was time for change. It was clear from the get-go to those of us in the reality community that the incumbents and the city administration had completely lost touch with what people in Suffolk were dealing with and what they were thinking.

I mean the gall to propose an average 20 percent tax increase on top of last year’s 20 percent tax increase when gasoline has just gone over $3 a gallon is bad enough, but when you take out a full page newspaper ad to rub people’s noses in it is just going a little too far.

As I said here the other day and Charles Parr reiterated in his post-election comments, it was all about the tax rate. There was just a complete disconnect with what was going on in people’s lives.

That’s the danger, however, when you live in a bubble; when you create your own reality; when you not only don’t listen to, but belittle any opinions different from your own; and when you basically surround yourself with sycophants who tell you how you smart you are. It might be nice for a while, but it can’t last. It’s not unlike the Bush administration, which appears to be headed for the same fate for much the same reasons in mid-term elections this fall.

That may be a tad harsh, and I don’t necessarily like to kick people when they’re down, but sometimes it’s just unavoidable. These things need to be said and obviously I’m not the only one who thinks that way based on the election results.

Actually, it was more than just the tax rate. From what I hear, people have also apparently had enough of city officials living it up on their dime. Swank events like “Mayor’s Balls” and opulently catered private fireworks viewings from the veranda of the Hilton and other invitation-only events with valet parking for the privileged few really kind of rub the average voter the wrong way. For some strange reason, they seem to resent their hard-earned tax dollars being squandered so people who perceive themselves as entitled can live it up and receive hefty annual pay increases while they are continually asked to sacrifice by paying higher and higher taxes on their homes. Go figure.

Sure, some might argue that the costs of such events are insignificant when compared to the entire city budget, and maybe they are. But it’s not the money as much as it is the principal. City Council representatives and city officials are the people’s servants, not their lords and masters. It’s time they start behaving as such. Hopefully, they got that message last night.