For a guy who tries to pass himself off as a businessman, Ramone sure has some fuzzy thinking when it comes to facts and figures. From Ramone's
News Journal Q&A (#10):
"The state should not have moved the salaries of DelDot employees over to the TTF in order to balance the budget years ago. The monies in the TTF were the road improvement projects, not for the use of DelDot payroll. The state must begin to return monies raided from the fund so we can pay for our needed repairs. If this is done over the next ten years, then we will be able to continue our needed repairs while not raising any of our fee’s taxes or charges." ()
Did you catch that?The state must begin to return monies raided from the fund...
Ramone thinks if we fire enough DelDOT employees, transportation deficits will be cured in ten years.
Notice that Ramone does not once suggest cutting back on spending. More on that below.
However, Ramone's theory - "Employees are the problem" - is the exact opposite of what was found by the KPMG audit requested by Tom Wagner
The KPMG audit points out that DelDOT in fact had implemented a hiring freeze, and as a result turned to hiring consulting engineering firms to complete design work for new projects.
Then in his most recent negative mailer Ramone changes his tune slightly.
He no longer mentions employee payroll but instead refers to salaries as "operating and administrative costs:""The transportation trust fund has been raided to cover operating and administrative costs. Now there is no money to complete desperately needed road projects."
The point is fair enough - operating and administrative costs should not be pulled from the TTF. But this is old news ever since the KPMG audit
last spring. Ramone is just jumping on the bandwagon here and is not bringing anything new to the table.
But who exactly created this situation? Let's consult the "big heads":
"Rep. Roger Roy, R-Limestone Hills, said it wasn't just Hayward. Lawmakers were focused on keeping cash spending and borrowing at a 50-50 ratio to protect the state's credit rating. [See, Mike Ramone, maybe there's a little more to this finance stuff than you figured!
] They did not hesitate to add more projects to the state's "wish lists" because things seemed to be going well.
'We didn't think there was a problem because we kept putting money in and Nathan kept getting work done,' he [Roger Roy]
Now remember that Ramone has no plan for cutting spending or reprioritizing new road projects. Compare Ramone's position with Karen Peterson
discussing the TTF deficit:
"The $2.7 billion gap between costs and revenues exists only on paper. The Transportation Fund list of projects is a 'wish list,' not a 'to do list.'
There are many projects on that list that will never be built (and do not need to be built). The first step in eliminating the 'gap' is to develop objective criteria to determine which projects actually need to be done to improve traffic flow or to address safety issues."
Sounds like Karen Peterson
needs to give Mike Ramone some business lessons about prioritization.
- G. Glass
..........................THE BOTTOM LINE:
The big new road projects are only "desperately needed" by Ramone's developer friends who want to keep building sprawl and letting taxpayers figure out later how to pay for the mess. Romone's "business man" act is nothing more than fronting for people who think stuffing tax money in their pockets is a birthright.