Anthony Bruno: Essential spending

September 27, 2013 

Essential? A matter of opinion

If you wondered why bond referendums pass with sizable majorities, observe how they are presented to the voters: Projects are “essential.”

The Cary Town Council used a bond referendum to offload the costs of roads and parks to debt, while using tax revenue to fund nonessential spending that surely would be defeated if it had to be voted on. This decision was made behind closed doors and promoted with political stagecraft to gain public support.

Don’t expect to hear the word “debt” associated with the sale of bonds, or read the cost measured in millions; rather, only “pennies” on a dollar. Nor will the public be told why the money for roads and parks isn’t coming from tax revenue as it should.

Last year, the $80million bond referendum for roads, parks and a new fire station passed easily, as voters understood the importance of these projects. It is hard to imagine a bond referendum would pass for nonessential projects such as the movie theater, hotel and coffee shop, which the council decided to pay for with tax revenue.

We should not have to borrow to pay for roads and parks with an increase in taxes, while we have no voice in spending on questionable projects, no matter how enjoyable the movie, the hotel amenities or the quality of the coffee.

When any council member prefers to borrow for essential services or projects, I would argue this person is not essential, and should not be re-elected.

Anthony Bruno


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