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Candidate Viewpoint: Newport City Council candidate Tom Ingemann

To my amazement and wonderment, there is a group of people in the city of Newport that keep looking for and claiming that there is or has been some sort of financial mismanagement going on in the city. This group is called NEWCO, but if you go on their website you can't find out who they are. They must not want the citizens of Newport to know who has so much anger. Are they afraid to tell the citizens of Newport who is on their board of directors? Who does their auditing? They are supposed to be a tax-exempt organization. Where do the funds go that are donated and what are they used for? Are they willing to make their financial records open to the public? They say they are gathered to move Newport forward, but it appears as if they are more political than anything else. I sure hope that they have registered with the election board; we would not want them to get into any trouble.

I believe that there might have been some interest in the past administration, and let it be known, most of the accusations are from the past. According to the audit reports from 2004 up to and including the present, they did not seem to care about correcting what they say seems to be a problem now. From the years 2009, 2010 and 2011, if there was mention of a shortfall that could be corrected, it was done. The current financial record keeping is very accurate and up to date. It took a new software program, a new bookkeeper and a new administration to get things cleaned up. Everything is online for them to look at, something that never happened years ago. It appears from checking the records going back as far as the year 2000, there were quite some questionable charges that the city paid for. They could have been very proper, but the lack of information as to what it was for could make it questionable.

By the sounds of their complaining, it appears as if they want to return to the ways of the past, by promising connections that do not exist, and the personal agendas that have nothing to with bringing the city of Newport into the next century. They are saying that there will be increases in your property taxes, even though according to the planned budget model that the city has put together the projected property tax impact is shown to be flat for the next five years. The city has no control over the taxing authority of the county, the school district or other taxing authorities; only what the city can project into what their future levy for their budget might be. I guess it is real easy to say one thing, but difficult to back it up with facts. Then there are those who are looking to gain notice so that they think they can go on to bigger political offices, and then there are those who are totally out of touch with reality.

The business community is pleased with the current climate in this city as far as a business goes. There has been nothing but positive comments from citizens as far as what they think about their city. I know the residents of the city of Newport are very smart and know what is going on in their city, and are not hoodwinked by a lot of broken promises, nonexistent connections and glorified nonsense.