Although a reasonable sensible motion was made last night to utilize a portion of the increased revenue the city realized from the increased price of oil to restore serious, critical cuts to fire, police, library and recreation services, the majority of the council opposed it and the motion was withdrawn.
Oh, but moments later, the majority passed a motion to explore spending $500,000 - $600,000 for a new website and $80,000 for a study that will lead to spending $5 - $10 million on an underground tunnel between the police department the soon to be constructed state courthouse.
Here's the game. Several council members have a list of projects they want funded. Others of us believe that you don't fund projects when you are cutting public safety and quality of life services.
For 9 out of the last 10 years -- the City has under estimated the revenue from oil. Some are calling the increased oil revenue -- "one time monies" -- and should not be spent on on going expenses.
Really? Yet when sales tax revenues have increased 12% (as they were reported to have done so last night) that isn't "one time money" -- that money is used to offset any reductions in the budget. So the oil revenue which is in the same column as sales tax revenue is "one time" but the sales tax isn't?
So where is their plan to come up with revenue to restore the cuts proposed by Mayor Foster in police, fire, library and recreation? Haven't seen it. Haven't heard it.
Here's an idea. City Manager -- go back and make the $20 million dollars in cuts in all departments except fire, police, recreation and library. Start at the top and cut management positions. Stop cutting at the level where services are delivered and start cutting at the management level.
If it helps. Think of it as a one time cut.
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Wednesday, August 24, 2011
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