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Saturday, December 5, 2020

Councilman Chris Pugh’s Letter To Kennedale – Budget Crisis

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To the Citizens of Kennedale;

When I ran for office, I committed to move the city forward and I
do believe steps in that direction have been taken. We have
several developments which will offer a variety of housing and
retail options underway. The City of Arlington is now maintaining
our water system and is completing the lines which will provide
drinking water to the city in a few more weeks. We also took
initial steps to adjust the compensation of most city staff
members – both first responders and civilian. Now the time has
come for us to examine the financial health of the city and set the
course for the next fiscal year while at the same time we try to
make decisions which will allow Kennedale to grow and thrive in
the future.

Providing services such as police, fire, the library, parks, and
streets are just a few of the things all citizens hope to have in
their community regardless of its size. While all these things are
highly desired each of them has a cost associated to it. As a
member of the Council, it is a large part of my responsibility to
see these things, along with many others, are provided to the
citizens. As we examine the financial picture of the city today, it
does not look good. We have spent more providing these services
than we have taken in too many times and now we must make
difficult choices on how to correct this issue. I believe our City
Manager and Finance Director have provided us with a budget
which has little room for trimming unless we begin to adversely
affect the services provided to Kennedale citizens. We all want to
see a fireman respond quickly when needed or have police officer
there if our property is stolen. Taking a child to the library or
relaxing at Sonora Park is something many citizens do on a
regular basis but as we look at the current budget, we are faced
with what services can we eliminate or reduce while at the same

time provide a city people desire to live. We are also faced with
the need for additional revenue even with cuts or reductions in
these services and that can only come, at this point in time,
through additional property tax revenues. None of us on the
Council desire to pay more in taxes or want to have ask the
citizens to do the same but we are in a situation where I believe
we must do so. If we are to survive as a city, we must take steps
to increase our revenues, find ways to save where we can, and
continue to move forward and grow. As a child we all experienced
growing pains and sometimes they hurt more than others.
Unfortunately, we are in a time where the pains are much deeper
but as a community we can and will get through this. I will
continue to seek ways to trim what we can but have a
responsibility to make the decisions needed to keep Kennedale
solvent and alive.

In closing I want to borrow something from the mission
statement of my employer (Lexus).

If you think you can’t, you won’t.
If you think you can, you will.
We can, We will.

We Can and We Will get through these growing pains.

Chris Pugh
City Council
Place 2
cpugh@cityofkennedale.com

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