Budget Talking Point (2)–We Don’t Want a “Cut Rate” Government

It is hard to want a “cut rate government”.

But it is hard to know what we have now, but it is far from “cut rate”.  We have an overpaid and over dimensioned government that can be reduced without serious impact on local services. Most of the critical services are already paid for.

Solid waste pick-up is paid for in the majority through fees.

The police services are paid for. Apparently the police union and employees consider themselves untouchable. Fire protection is paid for and is to be benefited by a new fire fee, it is thought. Indeed we seem to have a luxury fire department since they voluntarily took a salary reduction (assuming that they will have the fire fee to cover their salaries in the future).

Building and Zoning should be paid by the fees they charge; and they have much less to do right now and in the near future. The so-called Development Department has nothing to do because development is at a stand still.

The Finance Department would need to be reorganized and re-staffed at a minimum because they can’t seem to keep track of the City’s funds (hence the mysterious miscalculation of the $10 million reserves used to pay everyday expenses).

The Public Works Department is famously inefficient.

The Planning Department is famously useless.

Senior managers can immediately and easily have their salaries and benefits cut–it is assumed they don’t have that many job options at this time.

The infamous IT Department’s might still be outsourced at a significant saving or subject to a rigorous outside review of efficiency and effectiveness.

This is just a running list of impressions of what needs to be done and still not have a “cut rate government”.

About Stephen E. McGaughey
International consultant in economic development programs and projects

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