As constituents and snowgate petition gatherer volunteers have been calling councilors and comparing notes with other volunteers they are finding that some of the councilors have been spreading misinformation, and in some cases, flat out lying. Everything from your taxes being raised on food to snowgates don’t work because some city in Minnesota stopped using them.
During the mayor’s last listening and learning session a retired veteran asked the mayor if using snowgates would come out of the street repair fund. The mayor didn’t answer the question, because he probably knew the answer; NO. Snow removal comes out of the operations, 1st penny tax that CANNOT be raised without citizen or legislative approval. The mayor did mention they could up your front assessment property tax, the city council has the power to do so, BUT, it all comes down to budgeting NOT new or more taxes. Remember when the mayor sold the city on the Events Center? Remember his cry? No new taxes or increase in taxes. We simply make the bond payment out of the 2nd penny, just like the 1st penny, it cannot be raised, so it is matter of budgeting to make the EC bond payment, it is the same way with snowgates.
Don’t let this mayor or any councilor scare you into tax increases for snowgates. At the most snowgates could cost us an additional $3-5 million a year, take this out of a budget of over $100 million, and you will never even notice a change in services except that you no longer have to scoop the ice berm out of the end of your driveway.
I use the analogy of the wasted time it takes a resident to scoop out their driveway;
65,000 households x 45 minutes = 48,750 man hours x 8 major snowfalls = 390,000 man hours x $25 per hour = $9,750,000 in lost wages (double that if you pay a contractor to scoop out your driveway).
Snowgates will actually save homeowners money that they will spend elsewhere in our community therefore having a REAL economic impact. I think $19.5 million more dollars injected into the SF economy is worth the $3 dollar cost, I’m no investment banker, but that looks like a pretty good investment to me.
We have been working diligently to clarify these lies (especially the one about Edina, MN eliminating their snowgates), and during public testimony tomorrow night, many of these misconceptions will be squashed like gnats.