An article in the Amsterdam Recorder today (written by Jarrett Carroll) describes yet another incident of unnecessary discretionary spending of taxpayer money by Mayor Ann Thane.
Thane held a volunteer tulip planting event November 5, 2011, at the intersection of Guy Park Ave and Route 30 near Kirk Douglas Park. Many viewed this event as a last-minute campaign ploy by the Mayor to garner public support for her reelection. The public was led to believe that the tulips were donated by the Wrestling Hall of Fame. We learned from the Recorder article that the majority of the tulips were purchased with taxpayer money. Since the amount ($379.16) was not included in the approved budget, the Mayor needed approval from the Common Council for the purchase. The proposal went to the Council well after the purchase was made and was rejected by the Council.
We also learned from this article that taxpayer money was also spent on the murals painted on the rose garden wall next to City Hall and in Kirk Douglas Park across from the Police Department. We were led to believe this was an all volunteer effort at no cost to the taxpayers. My pet peeve about the murals is that they were intended to improve blighted areas of the City that serve as our gateways (East End). The East End was not adorned with these murals; again the effort went into beautifying City Hall.
At this years Mayoral Debate, Thane described her office as an “open book”, however that book can only be checked out by select individuals. The rest of us must rely on what is presented to the general public. From my view the two are not on the same chapter, causing the divide between the citizens of Amsterdam to widen even more.
These incidents detract from what the Council should be accomplishing, like approving the proposed Zoning Ordinance changes or the Ward redistricting that was completed by Montgomery County Planning.