Horse Gulch Blog

Watchdogging for the greater Durango area

10 Nov 2018

Free top five list: budgetary mismanagement of tax dollars by City of Durango officials

Posted by Adam Howell


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City of Durango officials are threatening to avoid maintaining public streets in the city because of alleged budgetary shortfalls.

Financing the forced drugging of thousands of people amounts to budgetary mismanagement. Chinese sodium fluoride sits on a pallet at the Durango Water Treatment Plant.

Meanwhile, numerous financial decisions that City officials have made for fiscal year 2018 amount to self-inflicted budgetary mismanagement.

These poor financial decisions that were made by City officials occurred before voters denied a Nov. 6, 2018 ballot proposal to issue a blank check for a new police station, public sidewalks, streets and cops.

Free top five list! Budgetary squandering of tax dollars

Here are five of the worst budgetary decisions that were made by City of Durango government officials for fiscal year 2018:

  1. Implementation of an excessive fee structure for business licenses across all industries, while providing no service to them in return. Check out this list of legal extortion fees charged by the “Community Development Department.”
    Even more egregious is the fee structure imposed upon people who are applying for a marijuana business license.
    This legal extortion from businesses happens when the City of Durango demands money from an individual or institution through coercion. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized criminals, but in this case, it is done legally by a municipality known as the City of Durango. If the City of Durango was providing something in return, it would be considered a service, but in this case, the benefits only flow one way. It also represents a process of double taxation without representation. What makes this financial decision to impose excessive fees upon everyone starting or maintaining a business is that it discourages people from starting a business in the first place. Less businesses in Durango equates to business owners and employees making less money to spend in the city, as well as less sales tax revenues to boost the city’s tax coffers.
  2. Paying at least 8 public officials over $100,000 dollars a year each per salary. Read the 2018 budget by clicking here.
    These officials earning executive salaries includes City Manager Ron LeBlanc, City Attorney Dirk Nelson, Durango-La Plata County Airport Director Toni Vicari, Parks and Recreation Director Cathy Metz ($134,576), Chief of Police ($134,576), Police Commander ($101,319), Assistant City Manager Kevin Hall, and Assistant City Manager Amber Blake. Blake recently derided City voters for voting against 2A, which would have funded a new police station, sidewalks and streets, according to the Durango Herald. Blake said that voters were not privy to municipal budgeting, and lacked appreciation for streets and sidewalks, according to The Durango Herald. The problem being that City Officials are paid enormously beyond the means of their budget while simultaneously guilt tripping taxpaying voters for not paying more taxes that they cannot afford.
  3. Squandering $34,500 dollars a year to dose our water supply with sodium fluoride, a drug as defined by the Food and Drug Administration.
  4. Funding of art installations: $24,135 dollars.
  5. Awarding contractual and discretionary grants to nonprofits like Axis Health Systems for operational expenses as “Community Support Funding.” Total funding for all grants: $881,853 dollars.



A list of budgetary grant allocations from the City of Durango. Image courtesy of City of Durango.

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