“Gentlemen, we have run out of money, now we have to think.” That quote has been attributed to Winston Churchill but is certainly an apt description of the condition here in Auburn.

The City Council has not identified any significant new revenue stream for this year, or for any point in the foreseeable future, yet once again the council seems to be heading toward an increase in expenditures.

Everyone is going to have to take a hit, and let it be known that the taxpayers of Auburn have already taken enough hard knocks. It is time to balance the budget on a projected revenue stream instead of making up a wish list and then coming back to the taxpayers to fill in the gaps.

Taxpayers keep seeing their disposable income chipped away through increased energy costs, increased food costs, bonds issues, increasing assessed home values, in addition to the other tax increases.

Sadly, there will be an opportunity to vote on the school budget and people are not going to be happy with any increases for a school system that pays administrators $100,000 or more, and special education programs that cost $120,000 per student in a school population that is decreasing with flat or underachieving scores.

People cannot afford it.

In reality, the school budget is just the whipping boy through which the public will vent its frustration at the entire city budget with its corresponding tax increases that show no sign of letting up.

Alan Whitman, Auburn

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