first_imgAs we stand at the cusp of 2015 and 2016, the City-County Observer staff wants to take the opportunity to wish our readers and elected and appointed officials  a wonderful and Happy New Year.We also are looking back at a volatile year in City government in 2015, and are expecting the coming year to be one in which the Mayor and our new City Council will largely be on the same page.At first glance all of that common ground sounds like a positive for Evansville and its citizens, but we wonder if a lack of well-reasoned dissent might not be just as harmful for our future as the over-the-top, constant scuffling of 2015. As the year ground to a close, we saw some embarrassingly petty behavior coming from our appointed and elected leaders that culminated in taking grants away from some very worthly non-profit organizations. Even the extreme tactics of the outgoing City Council to get the 2016 budget to pass was not without value, though. The eyes of the public were opened to a number of agencies that receive tax dollars that they had been unaware of. While we see a good many non-profit agencies that do an excellent job of serving the public good that lost needed funding, we also learned of a number of less-than-worthy causes that we believe do not deserve public funding. Hopefully, we will see some of the funding for non-profits be restored, but we want to see it done with careful consideration both to the functions of the agencies and the wishes of the public.We are not without concern about some of the issues that were raised in 2015 being swept under the rug without looking at both sides of the question, because the majority of the Council only saw one side of it.We feel that he close out of the 2015 audit deserves real scrutiny instead of a quick determination that all is well and we should move along, as there is nothing to see. We believe that former Councilman Friend raised doubts that deserve to be addressed, and we hope the newly elected City Council President, Missy Mosby will lead a thorough and transparent investigation of the true situation of last year City audit when its made public later this month.Another issue that we expect is a “done deal” by our new Council, the Brownfields land bank, deserves more public input and exploration.The use of the $25 million dollar rent advance from Tropicana is something that we hope will get “due diligence”  from the Mayor and City Council how to invest it wisely.We believe that common agreement  between the Mayor and City Council is a good thing, but we also think that agreement reached as a compromise between various opinions is often the best.  We hope our new Council members  will consider it their duty to examine their decisions in the light of public opinion and input, regardless of their own views.The City-County Observer will be here to continue to offer a forum for differing viewpoints on government issues, and we urge our readers to continue to voice their opinions. It’s now more important than ever before.All of that being said, we wish the 2016 City Council and Mayor Winnecke, along with all of the people of Evansville the absolute best in the coming year!FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more