Submitted by David Beaver
Considering his humble beginnings Gary St. Fleur may have at one time seemed an unlikely candidate for any position of power, but as many American dream stories go he has overcome overwhelming odds to become the self-made man he has groomed himself into today. Growing up under the care of a devoted single immigrant mother and a dedicated older brother, Gary St. Fleur taught himself to read, overcoming the educational challenges presented to him by a failing public school system and neighborhood riddled with drugs and criminal activity. Despite all of this Gary St. Fleur, now running as mayor of Scranton PA on the libertarian ticket, has always been a driven no nonsense, no excuses achiever. The same is no less true when it comes to accountability in fair taxation and the responsible management of municipal budgets
Originally coming to Scranton to pursue a career in the technology sector he was dismayed to discover just how much corruption lied behind the staggering budget woes that continue to face the city today. Unlike many many who have been dismayed by the surfacing of this kind of corruption in local government Mr. St. Fleur decided to do something about it, first by taking his concerns regarding the city's financial public on a blog he founded known as “Save Scranton”
The website, SaveScranton.com, exposes a great deal of budget and tax concerns and has done well in highlighting the Scranton crisis even to the point of garnering national attention. He has even gone so far as to launch two separate lawsuits against the city for exceeding its state and city charter mandated tax caps, overtaxing its residents, even achieving a recent victory in once such case. He's also launched a city-wide petition for a ballot initiative to force the city into bankruptcy, arguing that if the city's budget woes are so severe that it needs to excessively and illegally tax its citizens that there simply are no other options.
He has also launched his candidacy for mayor of Scranton, standing on the same measure as a major platform issue.
St Fleur is something of a rare but growing breed on the political scheme of things. Just as the consumer advocate protected us against the overreach and dishonest practices of big business, so is the taxpayer's advocate protecting us against the overreach and dishonest practices of big government. With a local debt of over $148 million in Scranton alone and a debt of $124 billion statewide many government officials are turning to overbearing taxes to reign in the irresponsible spending habits of municipal governments as well as our state legislature.
Perhaps there has been no better time for the rise of the likes St. Fleur. A fiscal hawk and taxation activist, St. Fleur is at the front line when it comes demanding to fiscal responsibility from our leaders and standing up for the every day citizen against the forces government overreach and financial tyranny. Maybe we could use more champions of the taxpayer like Gary St Fleur, but as of right now at this juncture that ball lies in the court of Scranton's residents as they choose a 2017 mayor.