While Mayor Tom Leppert has dismissed headlines surrounding the budget as "perpetuated unfortunately by politics," we pointed out that he's been sending out campaign e-mails and mailers in a desperate effort to secure enough votes among his colleagues to prevent a tax hike. Despite his campaigning, eight council members agreed to raise the rate by a whopping 4.91 cents -- just a tick below the maximum of 4.93 cents allowable by law.
With the official vote on the budget taking place Wednesday morning, Leppert hasn't given up yet, as we just received yet another e-mail from his campaign in which he claims he's heard from more than 10,000 residents opposing a tax increase equal to "the maximum amount allowed by law."
The mayor's campaign also polled 5,400 voters from around the city, and guess what? The majority don't want to raise taxes.
Leppert's e-mail provides photos, links and e-mail addresses for each council member, along with their position on the tax increase and how the polled voters responded in their district.
Our response to Leppert's plan to get one council member to crack at the last minute? We'll borrow his quote from when he cautioned the crowd at his State of the City address not to be overwhelmed by stories about the budget.
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"That kind of news can really cloud one's perspective, one's conclusions and the decisions that we make about the direction of our city," he said.