Your View: Silberberg’s debt talk belies her record

Your View: Silberberg’s debt talk belies her record
Allison Silberberg (Courtesy Photo)

By Lonnie Rich, Former city councilor, Euille campaign supporter (File photo)

To the editor:
In her campaign materials, her speeches and during candidate forums, Vice Mayor and Democratic mayoral nominee Allison Silberberg has been very outspoken about the increase in our city’s debt.

Unfortunately, Silberberg seems unfamiliar with her record as vice mayor, as she has consistently voted to increase our city’s debt during her three years on city council.

In her very first budget on council, she voted to borrow $24 million to fund the city’s capital spending. Last year, she voted to borrow another $30.9 million.

In May, she voted to borrow an additional $62.9 million to fund her capital desires in the current fiscal year.

In January, she voted with a unanimous city council to adopt a new cash capital policy that allows the city to add tens of millions of dollars to our debt over the next decade.

The vice mayor is right to be somewhat concerned about our city’s debt. Unfortunately, she is seemingly unable or unwilling to recognize her complicity in its run-up.

However, the real truth is that our level of debt is simply not a crisis that justifies the “sky is falling” mantra. We borrow in order to fund large capital projects that will be enjoyed and paid for over many years. Our city enjoys a double triple-A bond rating, which cannot be obtained by any jurisdiction that has more debt than can reasonably be paid back.