City staff attempting to prevent due diligence?

Twice in the last month I have pursued tax records when I suspected that the city was providing services or empowering individuals that were negligent in their responsibilities to the city.  Both times I was proven correct.  Apparently I touched a nerve because because staff is actually suggesting that I not have the power to do this kind of investigation.  Is this right?  Maybe you should contact your elected officials…

Mayor/Council: Some of you have this information, therefore, I am forwarding it to all members for their information.  Mark Krupski from the County Assessor’s Office did visit with us today to express some concerns. [redacted] is in receipt of the information and has asked the Assessor’s Office for some more information, which, if supplied, [redacted] will have to pay for.

Mark used 4 hours of the County’s IT staff to prepare the report, for which his office was charged $444,payable from his department to the IT department. His staff also worked 4 hours on the report.  Mark wants to be cooperative with the city, but indicates that he will need to charge for future such requests.

At an upcoming department head meeting, I am going to indicate if the staff receives informational requests from individual council members that will result in any significant staff time or cost, that such requests will be forwarded to the Mayor/Council for their direction prior to the task being undertaken.

Stevan

First Mark Krupski is an outstanding civil servant so I am sorry to have put him in this position.  I did not think that this request would take so much time / labor.  Here is my response to Stevan.

I would comment that this information should be provided to all departments and elected officials on a somewhat regular basis, maybe quarterly or a couple of weeks after each tax payment is due.  The city of Rochester should not be a bank for private individuals or persons.  The city has an established policy of not issuing permits, inspections, etc. to people / business that have not paid fees or taxes.  At the same time this seems to be completely ignored without staff having been directed to do so.  I would point out the only reason this took so long was the fact that there were hundreds of violations currently being swept under the rug.

I don’t want to pick on one developer (unless it is deserved…), particularly Bigelow who has done a pretty good job compared to others.  I would certainly trust them to build my home and they have some of the most responsible developments in Rochester.  Further, I have tremendous respect for Mike Paradise and actually personally presented him an environmental award.  He does alot in our community.  But we all have an obligation to pay our taxes.  I don’t think it is unfair to expect someone that serves on a committee that may weigh in on what to do if there are unpaid taxes, should have unpaid taxes.

Anyway here is the report in question.  An easy compromise would be to get a delinquent list in an easily manipulate format like .xls.

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