To Spend or not to spend

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Did anyone read the paper today?
Did anyone get the email about not spending any money?
Did anyone read the paper the other day about the $880k given to a private developer?
Did anyone get the memo on the FD having to cut the budget by almost $500k?

What is going on in Roanoke?

The City Council just voted to hand a private developer $880,000 to build apartments in the old Grand Piano building under one stipulation; they have to offer 17 low income apartments. What a joke. Define low income. Do you really think that someone paying $2000 a month for an apartment downtown will want to have people paying $300 for an apartment underneath them? Or is low income more like only $1500 a month? If you ask me, it is a waste of money when the City, much like every other facet of government from local to Federal, is having money problems. Read the whole story here.

Money problems? That is right. Once again, the FD has to cut the budget…again. I would imagine that the FD budget is probably about 95% salaries.

I will tell you about two people who do not have money problems: Scott Graeff and Ed Walker
Read about Scott here, whereas Ed Walker, a Roanoke redeveloper, owns the Colonial Arms building and has created condominium spaces on the top floors.

But you can’t blame them. The City is practically giving away money. Money that they cannot afford to give away.

Do you know where that $880k could have been better spent? Purchasing one of the two much needed replacement ladder trucks in the City.

So you have to ask who is making the decisions? City Council and the City Manager right? Well sure, but what kind of decisions are they making? One Council member spent over $15,000 last year on meals and travel. Compare that to another Council member who only spent $123. That is right, only One Hundred and Twenty Three Dollars.

The best part of the article is this:

“It seems to me that if he had decided to take that challenge on — to go to lunch with everybody in Roanoke — he should have at least run it by council,” Wishneff said.

That is freaking hilarious.

But what is it being spent on? Read this from one of his friends:

But Michael Ridenhour, a Roanoke audiologist, had a different take on his lunch with Dowe in July at Wildflour, which came to $23.

“We mainly talked about his golf game. He hadn’t been playing as much as he wanted to,” Ridenhour said.

Dowe did ask his opinion about a proposed amphitheater project, Ridenhour recalled. But he said much of the conversation consisted of Dowe, who is an agent for Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, asking Ridenhour if he could be his agent.

“I had high hopes that this was just going to be a friend-to-friend meeting. But as it turned out, he was trying to sell me something.

“I love Alfred; he’s a great guy … but I thought it was a Northwest Mutual lunch,” Ridenhour said.

Dowe said he remembered the amphitheater being a bigger part of the lunch conversation. But he also acknowledged that it’s not unusual for his full-time profession to come up during a meal over city business.

You can read the entire article here

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