Many of us got an email from Tusayan Mayor Sanderson, without a required, legal disclaimer noting it was campaign material, in which the Mayor said you should not get to benefit from Tusayan tax dollars through direct payments.
The Mayor thinks getting tax dollars to you is “illegal” and “immoral.” By his logic is it illegal for the state of Alaska to give its residents a portion of revenues generated from the oil and gas industries, as currently takes place? Is it immoral for Native American communities to give tribal members per capita payments from gaming?
And now he has used town funds in attempt to kill this proposal. In fact, the Town just held a closed door meeting with the Town Attorney, an attorney who is supposed to work for YOU not the mayor’s political ambitions. After this closed door meeting with no public input, the Town Attorney then issued an edict saying you have no right to get YOUR tax dollars.
This a return of money to the people, all of them. This is not contemplated in the cases cited by the Town Attorney which address select subsidies to specific businesses. Big businesses.
Cities such as Phoenix and Mesa frequently have given direct aid to local businesses to help endure the pandemic. Why can’t Tusayan do the same for its residents?
Tusayan’s sales tax generates as much as $4.5 million a year thanks to the tourism industry. Shouldn’t the people benefit?
Remember. It’s YOUR money, not theirs. And not Mayor Sanderson’s.
Some things are worth fighting for and I will wage this battle for you. Even if that means making some changes at Town Hall.
I have asked attorneys to research this proposal, and it is legal. And it’s simple. The town has as much as $7 million in cash reserves. Let’s give most of that surplus to Tusayan’s residents for a onetime payment of about $6,000. Future surpluses would be retired in the same fashion resulting in payments of $3,000 depending on the economy and emergency needs.
The idea has merit and I would be happy to defend it. In fact I would like to take this opportunity to challenge Mayor Sanderson to a debate to discuss this proposal and a number of other topics in front of you, the people, owners of the money, and the true bosses of the local politicians.
This proposal is part of my promise to be Mayor for all of Tusayan. Not just a select few. Caring for all residents and all businesses.
Not long ago the town wasted nearly $8 million on an affordable housing project that was supposed to benefit a handful of residents. Because of mismanagement those homes were not built.
The town has spent as much as $15,000 a month on DC lobbyists.
This is an epic waste of money and it must stop.
The mayor is right when he says it is illegal to use town funds to influence an election. That’s why it strikes me as odd that the Mayor appears to be using government resources to kill a plan to give you your own tax dollars, and perhaps shoot down an idea for a better use of town funds.
On June 4th an agenda was emailed indicating an executive session of the Town Council on several routine matters. The agenda was then hastily changed to add discussion of my proposal. The Mayor’s campaign email just happened to come out around the same time.
I have sent the town a public records requesting seeking all communications at Tusayan Town Hall on my proposal. That includes whether the town paid for lawyers in attempt to kill this plan. Such a move would be illegal. First, the Mayor doesn’t want to give your tax dollars back to you and now he wants to use your tax dollars to help his campaign? This is outrageous. And should not be acceptable to everyone in Tusayan.
Whether you plan to vote for me or not, giving surplus money back to taxpayers is something that should be pursued. And, we should all agree that illegally using your tax dollars to help someone’s campaign is unacceptable because, if true, it would be illegal by state law.
It’s time to take back our town. It’s time we had a town government that works for you. Not the other way around.