published: Friday, February 01, 2013
Mayor was right to find out facts
The city of Mascotte is in something of a financial predicament. City leaders and residents are finding the way to the exit increasingly clouded with small-town politics and shortsightedness. The city faces a $500,000 budget shortfall, and the challenge of finding the money to fill that gap appears to be growing.
Ask Mayor Tony Rosado about proactive thinking or taking the initiative in finding solutions and he just might provide advice to the contrary.
Rosado's idea was to allow Lake County to handle firefighting services for the city. He asked some questions and conducted some research.
Council member Brenda Brasher found Rosado's actions offensive.
"This was a slap in the face to our city manager, the fire chief and our council. I'm embarrassed that as mayor, you are doing this and I want that on record."
Rosado apologized during the meeting. "I wanted to have something to support my idea," he said.
Mascotte's mayor should not have apologized. Rosado did his homework. He did his due diligence. He was looking for the least bitter medicine to cure the city's ailment, and he spent his time reading the labels before presenting his proposal.
Council member Stephen Elmore put the discussion in its proper context.
"In all fairness, every single option is going to have to be put out on the table and we are ob-jectively going to have to look at all the issues."
Gleason said the council will discuss Rosado's idea more in-depth during budget workshops in March.
Gleason said city leaders of the past anticipated Mascotte undergoing considerable growth, and tagged public services to that trajectory. The expected growth never materialized, requiring recent city leaders to readjust their projections.
With a population of 5,175, the city has few options. Scoffing at the mayor for his proposal is unprofessional and short-sighted.