When a city not known for efficiency passes an unnecessary 25 percent tax increase, it's quite entertaining to watch how hard it works to spend the bounty.

To the Editor:

When a city not known for efficiency passes an unnecessary 25 percent tax increase, it's quite entertaining to watch how hard it works to spend the bounty.

Background: Upper Arlington annually pays a city manager some $280,000, a city spokesperson some $130,000 and a legal department some $1 million, including three full-time attorneys.

To solve its "communication problem" with its residents, the city recently hired a consultant for $105,000 to advise the staff on how to communicate more effectively. One resident, at no charge, told them how to do it using less than 300 words. The mistake the resident obviously made was not charging enough. But I digress.

The city has now gone on contract for an additional $15,000 with another consultant to provide services: to advance transparency and accountability regarding release of information; to advise on the release and distribution of public information; to help clarify and correct misconceptions and inaccurate rumors; and to assist with the drafting and production of public information.

It gets even funnier because the contract also requires the consultant to maintain confidentiality of all issues and information discussed during the term of the contract, for which the residents' taxes are paying.

Given the money already being paid for the talent on hand, one must wonder why this type of contract is necessary.

Why not simply follow the existing public disclosure laws and correct the "inaccurate rumors and misconceptions" using the city manager's weekly column in the local paper?

William Gabel

Upper Arlington