VIDEO: Spring Speaks to Tea Party
4 months, 1 week ago Bryan Nichols
Speaks to conservative organization that has battled him since their inception.
After three years of a sometimes contentious relationship with the Quincy Tea Party, Quincy Mayor John Spring was the featured speaker at last night’s monthly meeting.
Spring gave an update on the state of the city from his perspective and spoke to what turned out to be a non-adversarial crowd. He touched on variety of issues including the city economy.
Spring talked of budget cuts that had been made including personnel. He also talked about reducing spending and City taxes. He said that he was proud that the area had the second highest rate of employment in the state.
“We’ve seen an increase in manufacturing, we’ve seen an increase in industrial workforce, we’ve certainly seen an increase in the retail sector. The retail sector has really kept us afloat through very difficult times. It’s pretty amazing when you think that all the new venues that have come into this community in the last 3 or 4 years during some difficult economic times…I think that says something about our community.”
He acknowledged that, though the jobs numbers looked okay in Quincy, the wages and benefits from many of those jobs weren’t sufficient enough.
Spring said the three main challenges facing the city of Quincy are the budget, the state and the drought.
He said managing and presenting a budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year that they could operate with would be a big undertaking.
Spring said the Senate has proposed an amendment that would take away local distributive monies. The amendment to Senate Bill 2580 would allow the state to borrow $9.6 million immediately from the Local Government Distributive Fund to allow them to continue to fund state inspectors for the medical field.
The Local Government Distributive Fund takes money collected locally such as sales tax and income tax revenue and distributes it back to the local entities.
He said the state’s goal is to repay the money in three years. That drew a hearty laugh from the crowd. Spring said that issue combined with the pension issue has put the city in a tough spot.
Third on the list for city challenges is the drought. Mayor Spring cited the drinking water issue as well as the water and sewer infrastructure that has seen several issues lately due to the dry conditions.
Spring did not address the local mayor's race or the hydropower project.
However, Alderman Paul Havermale (R-3) also spoke at the meeting explaining the thought process behind lighting the Bayview Bridge, the status of the hydropower project, and his reasons for voting for approval of video gaming.
During a question and answer time, Spring was challenged to allow more time for speakers at the City Council meeting. He said he wouldn’t be opposed to that. Others questioned Alderman Havermale on the video gaming decision and said concerns from religious groups went unheeded.
Havermale said he weighed both arguments from both sides and posed the question to his Priest as well eventually deciding to vote in favor of the measure.
Finally, both men were questioned about their views on gun control and the 2nd amendment. Spring said he fully supported it and owned guns. He said he thought some laws in place should just be better enforced.
Havermale said that, as a longtime hunter, he fully supports the 2nd Amendment.