It seems like the political season here in Enterprise is revving up a little early this time around. Recently two candidates have announced the start of their campaigns.
In District 2, Eugene Goolsby announced he would be running for the current city council seat held by Tommy Johnson, Jr. In his campaign announcement, Goolsby said that a “new voice” might be a good thing for the citizens of Enterprise. Take Back Enterprise doesn’t officially support any candidates, but we are glad to see that at least one citizen has decided to get involved in the political process to at least provide a “different” voice. Take a look at the article to find out more about what Goolsby stands for.
Current Mayor Kenneth Boswell also recently announced his candidacy for re-election. At his kickoff party he announced several plans to spend a lot of money on new things for the city. He said he would like to build a new library, a new recreation center, new soccer fields, a new museum, and refurbish the ESCC swimming pool.
We are curious where the Mayor is going to get all this money to pay for these shiny new things. Also, has he actually asked any citizens if this is what we want? This is the first time we have heard anything about these plans. Have they been discussed at council meetings or work sessions? It appears that there has been a lot of planning and money spent on conceptual drawings and plans. At this point we aren’t questioning whether or not these are good ideas, but along with our mission to bring openness to city government we are concerned about how these decisions are being made and whether or not the citizens are allowed to participate in the planning process. At a public hearing before last year’s sales tax increase the Mayor claimed that the city was broke and didn’t have enough money to invest in first responders and critical infrastructure for the city. He claimed that we needed a new sales tax to pay for these things. Now, a year later, he releases all these grand plans to build all of these new facilities and we don’t even have that new firehouse he promised us and, by his own admission, our water and sewer systems still need improvements. As far as where he says he will get the money, he claims in the article he will get it from a “bond issue”. To use layman’s terms, this means more debt for our city.
The Mayor’s campaign announcement got us thinking about his career in politics. We did some research on the past elections in which he has run for the Mayor’s office. What we found was interesting. In 2004 (his first election) Kenneth Boswell received 1937 votes out of a total of 1996 votes cast. In 2008 the Mayor ran unopposed and received 0 votes. In 2012 he also ran unopposed and received 0 votes. So, in 3 elections for Mayor he has only received 1937 votes. In that same time frame the city has had five new taxes passed under the Mayor’s watch. That’s right, in 3-1/2 terms as Mayor he has enjoyed FIVE tax increases. The more you think about it, his campaign promises seem a lot like the Democratic Debate. He has promised us a bunch of free stuff we haven’t asked for and promises to pay for it with more debt and more taxes. Does that sound like “The People’s Mayor” to you? If he gets elected for a 4th term will he give us another tax increase? If he does everything he has promised, we might need it to give our first responders a raise. Rest assured, he will hold a public meeting and show a nice video to tell us he is raising our taxes.
Along with these questions we have a few more for the Mayor and our City Council. Join us tonight, November 3rd, at the City Council Meeting at 6pm to hear us ask those questions in person.