Vice Mayor Court Rosen and Mayor David Bowers
Vice Mayor Rosen worries talk of a Roanoke fiscal cliff by Mayor Bowers will scare citizens.
Mayor David Bowers' comment was a bit of a head-scratcher at last Monday's joint meeting with the Roanoke City School Board.
"I'm becoming concerned that Roanoke's fiscal cliff is looming just beyond the horizon," said Bowers
claimed that other civic organizations were in the same boat.
The fiscal cliff not only pertains to Roanoke's schools but "other things that we as a council I think are going to be facing.
explained that council was going to have to make serious decisions within 12-18 months about the schools, museums (Taubman), the zoo, the performing arts and storm water management regulations.
feared museums and the zoo would close and funding for community assistance organizations would dry up."The time is coming when alternatively we can do nothing and in a couple more years they will be bankrupt," said Bowers
"The clock is ticking on our fiscal cliff.
Is this what we've come to in Roanoke?"
Vice Mayor Court Rosen took a less amicable tact and directed a barb at Mayor Bowers.
"Just to be more blunt and fair I'm not sure where you came up with this notion of Roanoke is facing a fiscal cliff," said Rosen.
started to explain but Rosen cut him off saying he
didn't want a debate.
"I would disagree completely ... Roanoke has been proactive."
remarks came from a meeting with School Board Chairman David Carson just before Christmas.
looked over documents showing the schools healthy reserve.
Carson than went through a laundry list of expenditures that would deplete the reserve in 15 to 18 months.
Over the last month he
had also been contacted by representatives of arts and culture organizations.
"They've been struggling so bad some of them are moving into the danger zone," he
said though admitting that they might be exaggerating their dilemma.
The culmination of these interactions brought to mind the term "fiscal cliff" he
clarified that the city itself was in good shape but financially flat.
"It is a dereliction of duty if we don't now relay to the public the concerns of our very reliable superintendent [Rita Bishop] and chairman of the school board.
That's where I take issue with the Vice Mayor," said Bowers
takes a page right out of the prez's and the media's play book.