OPINION

Orangeo: Regarding Dover finances, ‘put heads together and figure it out’

Posted

This is in response to an article in the Daily State News, titled “Dover council passes several fine-related ordinances.”

Specifically, the article mentions that the 2025 city budget was voted on, with a property tax increase, along with fee increases for various utilities, such as trash, electric and a new fee for stormwater. From what I read and heard, the city justified these increments due to being in a deficit and needing to make up the difference to balance the budget. To me, it looks like the city of Dover has a spending problem and is not bringing in enough money. If this is the case, the city manager, Mr. David Hugg, who operates the city, needs to find better ways to create a financially strong and resilient city, bringing in more profit. In today’s state of economy and high inflation levels, I don’t think it’s feasible to raise residents’ property taxes or utility fees at all. Mr. Hugg needs to find different ways than hurting our older population, underprivileged families and those just making ends meet. As a property owner in Dover for 33-plus years, I’ve been assailed by regular property tax increases and fees, sometimes outrageous and sometimes enough to keep me from eating a meal or affording my medicine. For me, it’s time to say “enough.”

Additionally, the article stated that the mayor (Robin Christiansen) will receive a $5,000 raise, and council members will receive a 4% raise in their salaries. Shameful. They would rather approve giving themselves all a raise then offset the raises by maybe decreasing what they are hitting us taxpayers with.

Until our elected officials find the path to controlling unreasonable property tax increases and utility fees, I won’t support any incumbents in the next election. It’s time for our elected city officials to put their heads together and figure it out.

If enough property owners and renters join me in saying “no more,” maybe we can send a message in the next city election.

Louis Orangeo

Dover

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