Letter: City set late hearing to stifle attendance, input
The City Council has scheduled public hearings on April 17 and May 1 following the regular council meetings ("Council creates tax district for roads," Nicholas Johnson, April 5). According to an email notice I received from the city, the first public hearing is expected to start at 9 p.m.
Why would the city schedule public hearings that start at 9 p.m. if they want or expect any resident to attend? Most organizations would not start a meeting that late at night, and most people would not attend a meeting that starts that late.
It seems obvious the city does not want anyone to attend. If they schedule a meeting that starts at a time like that, they can fulfill the legal requirement to hold a public hearing but also achieve their purpose of having no one attend.
What is the topic of these public hearings? Namely, raising a huge amount of additional tax revenue by charging residents annual fees for each vehicle they own, on top of recent new license tab fees for mass transit.
Instead of reducing other expenditures and using the excess General Fund money they often speak of having, the mayor and council can impose new vehicle tab fees without a taxpayer vote using their recently formed Transportation Benefit District.
Any taxpayer would have to reduce other expenditures if they decided to spend a lot of additional money to maintain or repair an important asset, such as their home.
The mayor and council want to say they held hearings to consider public input even though no one is likely to show up.