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|Alderman Dennis Explains Vote
|He agreed to a possible two percent gas use tax increase at last week's special budget work session.
But Galesburg Second Ward Alderman Wayne Dennis said he changed his mind after thinking through the situation and decided to vote against raising the tax.
The change in opinion forced the Galesburg City Council to unanimously vote against a budget which was agreed to at the work session and instead agree to a back-up budget eliminating several city positions.
After voting against the increase, however, Dennis tells WGIL he would still like to keep a fire captain position.
"Some of these guys come up to me saying they really, really need this fire captain and I'm sitting there going: well if we had 50-thousand and we're going to have 200-thousand, we're 112-thousand short that means we've got 38-grand," says Dennis. "Surely to God we can find an extra 14 or 15-thousand dollars somewhere to cover the fire captain."
Dennis said he received several phone calls telling him to vote against raising taxes, but did admit to receive several e-mails in support of raising them.
"I've never had one call. Not one call telling me that we should raise taxes," says Dennis. "I got a couple of e-mails saying we should raise taxes but I didn't get one call telling me to raise taxes."
He said he contacted Mayor Garza to tell him he was changing his vote.
Dennis said he believes the City's current video gambling revenue estimates are low and that will nearly cover the costs of a fire position he lobbied for keeping Monday night.
Dennis says he's pleased the council decided to put 1-thousand dollars for neighborhood improvements back into the budget.
He says the council should look into a new budget approval process for the next fiscal year.
|12 19 12 by Newsroom
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