Member, Naples City Council
Home rule is best
Friday's editorial about the state legislature was on the mark.
Granted, I should only speak for the city of Naples, but I am convinced our City Council, not state legislators, knows best about local ad valorem taxes and spending.
Naples is a full-service city. In addition, Naples residents expect a very high level of service. That service has a cost. Council is charged with finding the right balance between the level of service and the revenues (fees and taxes) supporting those services.
I feel Naples has effectively managed that task throughout the recession and we will continue to grapple with those issues as we move forward. One reason we have been effective is we have direct communication with our constituents.
Also, our city budget is very revealing. The cost vs. benefit analysis is very personal with our residents and property owners. Once you move up the government food chain, to county, state and federal levels, that personal dialogue gets lost and the budgets become increasingly complex and hard to understand.
Any further state intrusion into municipal finances could harm the services that make Naples such a great place to live. If the state wants to seriously address local tax issues, legislators should re-attack the tough issue of meaningful pension reform rather than taking the easy way as depicted in the Daily News editorial.