As we approach a likely May 21, 2013 election, the City has set up this page to provide the public ongoing information about the City's financial obstacles, offer opportunities for public input and to track the progress of proposed solutions. We truly want to hear back in any way that works best for you.
This website will be updated frequently with new information about the City's finances and efforts to address its challenges. Below you will find links to additional information about the City's situation and the situation statewide. For background information about the City's financial obstacles, please click here.
Check back frequently to stay up-to-date on this issue.
Frequently Asked Questions
Follow this link for Frequently Asked Questions. The FAQs are being updated all the time as comments in from different sources (Facebook, website comment form, emails, coffee shops, post office, etc.) UPDATED 2/21/13
Shortly the City will cease posting to this site to avoid any appearance that City resources are being dedicated to taking a position on the upcoming May 21st bond measure election. Please note that there is at least one political action committee as of this writing that is actively providing information on the measure. The City Manager and other City staff remain available to answer questions regarding the election. The City Manager can be reached directly at (503) 837-1171 or at clyne [dot] david [at] ci [dot] independence [dot] or [dot] us.
This morning, the City Council officially approved the resolution referring the bond measure to the ballot for voter approval on May 21st. Please continue to explore this website to learn more about the issues surrounding the bond measure, what it will do, and why the council believes it is necessary. To see the full resolution and proposed ballot measure, please go to the City Elections page. If you have additional questions, please don't hesitate to ask via the "contact us" link, or by contacting City Manager David Clyne directly at 503-837-1171 or clyne [dot] david [at] ci [dot] independence [dot] or [dot] us .
The Budget Committee has completed its work on identifying approximately $700,000 worth of priority cuts should the bond measure fail. They are shown on this link or as an attachment to this page below. Also, at the bottom of this page is a link to a recent Itemizer-Observer article on the budget cuts.
Outstanding news today! We completed the sale on two sewer borrowings and saved a total of over $240,000 over the life of the newly refinanced revenue bond. The savings in the next two years alone will be $171,000. The true interest cost to the City was 3.33%. We view this as one more step towards good financial health.
In other news, we have had held more information forums about the proposed General Obligation Bond Measure election. City representatives have to date made presentations in a general public forum, as well as before various groups; Airpark homeowners, the Rotary, Elks and Lions Clubs, Independence Downtown Association and Colonia Amistad residents. We are still planning more such presentation and would be happy to appear in front of any other groups or meet separately with individuals.
Attached below is a PowerPoint presentation that was made to the Budget Committee on January 29th as they began the hard work of determining the priorities for cut backs should the proposed bond measure fail.
Update 1/31/13 - School District Refinance
It was reported that the Central School District just completed refinancing its General Obligation Bonds for a savings of over $780,000. This will be a direct savings off everyone's property tax bills.
Update 1/31/13 - Budget Committee Meets
On Tuesday, the Citizens Budget Committee met for the first time to consider setting priorities for service reductions should the proposed May bond election either not take place or fail to secure passage. The members listened to a presentation from the City Manager regarding the current challenges, options that were considered over the past year, the history of performance for the Urban Renewal District (see attachment below) and responses to many questions. On February 11th at 6PM, the Committee will meet again and begin the work of recommending service cut priorities. At this time, the target for reduction is approximately $700,000 from the budget.
Update 1/21/13 - First Forum Held
We covered a lot of ground with our first forum at the Independence State Airport this past Monday. Lots of questions with an audience of about 30 - 40 people. We will are collecting questions from the evening to add to our Frequently Asked Questions and hope you will continue to check this site.
Update 1/14/13 - Forums on City Calendar
Go to the sidebar or the home page to find links to Finance Forums and other City events. We have added the January 26th public forum and several other finance forums coming up over the next weeks. Watch the calendar for more changes and more opportunities to voice your opinions.
Update 1/10/13 - First Public Forum scheduled
Follow this link to get more information about the first public forum on this topic. Going through football withdrawal symptoms with just one game left, the Super Bowl? Stuck at home wondering what to do on another wet, wintry day? Why not join us to learn to hear about the proposed bond election in May? It will be a great chance to give us feedback and learn more about what the City has been doing.
Why does the City loan money to MINET? Just who does own the unfinished Independence Station project? Answers to these questions and more at the forum. Also, please keep an eye on the FAQs. We update those routinely with responses to questions raised publicly about City affairs. are now up!
Update 1/9/13 - Survey results in
Follow this link to the summary survey results. We are pleased with support that City services received from this scientific sampling of the community. We are also pleased that people want have an opportunity to vote on a bond refinancing question that would retain the level of services now being delivered.
Update 1/2/13 - Scientific Survey Info
The City recently completed a scientific phone survey where we successfully reached about 10% of the registered voters in Independence. The goal of this survey was to determine the level of importance that the public places on specific city services, and to gage the public’s interest in a variety of potential solutions to the City’s financial situation. We greatly appreciate the time and input from the public who responded and we are reviewing the data to determine next steps. Follow this link to read more
Follow this link to take the city finances survey, which was completed as a phone survey in December.
Follow this link to submit questions or comments about the City's finances and what is being done to find a solution