Audio from Tuesday, November 22, 2005 at 6pm Public budget meeting. (32Mb)
This was one head spinning hour of public discussion. This is why meetings have rules. Do a few of these a month if you want to develop a drinking problem.
Lots of ideas were tossed about, but in the end it was "just a bitch session".
There's this funny phenomenon happening as a result of the Mayor's budget proposal. Instead of blaming mismanagement & the failure to raise money outside of taxes. Some people are getting angry at the city's workers. And not just the union employees. It seems that increased taxes makes all workers look greedy-- from the under-compensated over-stressed part-time council people to the brave and always-there fire fighters. This phenomenon makes people more agreeable to cutting their jobs and benefits. But some how the consultants, the commuter department heads, and the consultants they hire to augment their jobs walk away unscathed. This is LAZY thinking fits right into the LAZY budgeting effort.
You think our services stink now... Wait till you see next year's crime, rescue response, leaves, snow removal, and codes enforcement. I'm sure they'll be managed a whole lot better when they become even more unmanageable than they are now. hmmm Maybe the Mayor's just trying to challenge himself?!?
Do the hard work of marketing our services to other communities, regionalizing, enforcing codes, and taxing equally. Spend our money on things that will make us money. Make the streets cleaner and safer. It works other places.