The City of Erie
more than $127 million dollars being spent to run this city in one year - have you read this document?
every taxable property in Erie had taxes raised 7% to cover the ever expanding costs associated with running this city
Bosworth Economic report from 2001
This report gets referred to a lot, but nothing has really been done since it was published/paid for 14 years ago.
City of Erie's Five Year Consolidated Plan (2010-2014) and Annual Plan for FY2010
Nice report but where is the "PLAN" and strategy/tactics to accomplish something?
Performing Cities 2014" written/published by the Milken Institute
this report list Erie as having 2nd worse drop of any large US city - this one got folks upset at the title but not the underlying data?
The Path Forward: A Statement on the Future of our Region by the Leaders of Erie's Universities
The Path Forward Chapter II
written by elected leaders in Erie County as planning tool for future growth in Erie region
- Erie Redevelopment Authority long range plan 2007 - 2014
Downtown Erie Master Plan for development/redevelopment - published 2007
Map of downtown Erie with planned developments - very detailed/interesting - 2007
As we roll into 2015, the City of Erie is facing incredible opportunities and
equally incredible hardships.
Erie is a fantastic city with many fine attributes and has the potential to be a world class place to live/work/play.
As the only Erie City Council candidate (or member) that has worked on the 5th floor of Erie City Hall and managed various city functions,
I have a unique perspective on how Erie city government functions and insights into how it might function better.
More efficiently, more transparently and most importantly, MORE CITIZEN FRIENDLY.
We need to get Erie back on track and thats going to take a lot of work. And
There are many problems that need to be addressed all at the same time.
14 years has passed since an economic report commissioned & paid for by elected officals spelled out the need to new ideas.
This report stated that unless serious actions were taken QUICKLY, Erie would find itself sinking deeper and deeper into financial distress.
So, here we are in early 2015:
Real estate taxes have risen 22% in just the past 3 years. There have been 4 real estate tax increases since 2006.
Erie City pension funds are under-funded by $71,000,000 according that PA State Auditors.
The Administration has recently re-structured 13 year old Sewer Authority bonds and saddled Erie with $$ MILLIONS IN debt.
Last year, bond funds from a 2011 bond were used to buy vehicles, pave streets and pay architects fees - NONE of which are allowable uses of bond proceed
AS OF MARCH 19TH, THE MAYOR HAS PROPOSED ISSUING A NEW $11 MILLION BOND TO PAY FOR PAVING FOR NEXT 4 YEARS.
There were only 3 new housing permits issued in Erie in 2014. Empty lots
dominate downtown Erie where development has stopped.
Gun crimes and murders are increasing at a frightening pace. 9 people injured by gunfire thus far in 2015 with 1 murder.
Census data shows Erie slipping to 4th most populated in the state and soon we will be under 100,000 citizens.
I am running for Erie City Council to make a difference. To make Erie better
and to help make the life of residents better.
There are Erie City Council members who have been on council for 2 years, 4 years or even longer, yet here we are.
If a Erie City Council Member has been on Council for even 2 years, shouldn't we expect results? Shouldn't we see results? What are we waiting for?
Why does it seem that Erie government is still doing things the way they were done in 1972?
Why can't we pay parking tickets on the city website, apply ONLINE for permits or find quarterly pension fund reports?
The last RFP on the purchasing section of the Erie city website is from 2009.
We need to use the internet to engage LOCAL businesses and to spend money with them, NOT with companies located outside city limits.
Okay Jon, what should be done? What do you plan to do about it?
We must tackle the ever rising tax issue NOW and bring local government spending under control IMMEDIATELY. Right-size, outsource some key functions. We currently outsource 75% of all paving and most mowing in summer yet do some in-house. Why? The best provider gets all the work.
Use Berkheimer to collect real estate taxes just like they colect Earned Income Taxes for the city, they already have an office in City hall.
We need more police on our streets. We need to give them the newest technology. We need an east side sub-station with an emphasis on community policing whereby foot, bike and car patrols meet neighbors, talk to residents and become seen as being part of the community.
Immediately purchase a paving re-heat machine so we can pave more streets each year for same $$$.
We must offer entrepreneurs help through grants, loans and a FREE spot in an incubator/accelerator to launch & grow their businesses.
We need to find the BEST, most talented, experienced and engaged non-political volunteers to sit on our boards and authorities.
We need to immediately start vetting investment firms to provide services for the pension funds. Start with 12 firms, all get equal $$, after 1 year the top 6 get double shares. The next year the top 3 firms split all the $$$. Constant vigilance to ensure that we make good returns, as the pension funds are calculated to get 7% compund returns annually.
We must start puchasing MORE from local TAX PAYING companies that employ Erie residents and make Erie strong. Can we bundle purchases with Erie County and Millcreek? Also, we should utilize reverse auctions where possible for more savings: http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/174799
ALL new city employees must reside within city limits. NO exceptions. All department heads must reside in the city as well.
We need computerized time keeping methods for all city employees, job descriptions for every position and yearly performance reviews. Institute swipe cards or electronic log-ins like those used by Erie County workers to track time/attendance. Payroll becomes easy to run once computerized.
I am asking for your support and your vote on May 19th and on November 3rd.
Let's elect new leaders with new ideas and new energy. Without ties to outdated ways and without favors owed to anyone.
Elect leaders that will listen to the taxpayers and make smart decisions. Bold decisions. And in many cases, TOUGH decisions.
Let's make Erie better. Together.
email me today at