The city keeps issuing the-sky-is-falling long-term budget predictions when it doesn't know what's going to happen tomorrow. One council member has claimed they'd been working on plans for a sales tax increase for years. That's the stuff of conspiracy theories.

So is the city’s long-term neglect of its infrastructure until it got to the point it just had to be done immediately regardless of cost with residents paying for it through the nose and will be forever.

The city has been living beyond its means for years. The sales tax revenue from the doughnut hole has kept it financially afloat. The city has had the money to pay for needed essentials, according to former city employees. Instead, it misspent it on cultural amenities and “other priorities” that didn't generate revenue to pay the city’s bills. It lets too much money slip through its fingers.

The city has also made expensive gambles and lost. This all finally caught up with it last fall as the city painted itself into a financial corner long before COVID showed up.

This sales tax increase is nothing more than an attempt to cover the rear-ends of the city's failed leadership for its mismanagement, misdirected spending priorities and its outright neglect of the city's public safety and infrastructure over the past 30 years.

The supposed oversight and audit of this tax increase will be just for the money it generates. The city will still have its regular general fund money to play with and squander. As long as the money keeps flowing, the city will keep squandering it on things it doesn't need.

Dennis Bell, Redlands