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Budget cuts versus economic development

Register • Dec 24, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Some city commissioners are concerned about promoting economic development. It all depends on what exactly the commissioners are referring to when mentioning economic development. Does economic development mean moving City Hall but certain commissioners will not express it in that way when trying to negotiate cuts with the union? Until the city’s budget is stabilized, the notion of moving City Hall should be suspended indefinitely. 


There can be economic development that doesn’t have to cost the taxpayer anything, or it can cost the taxpayers the whole expense. Development can bring in revenue, but the city should not allow a development to place so much demand on the budget that the city must cut services and personnel to make it all happen. 


At the last budget meeting, there was a hint that the city might be talking with the unions. Could the unions possibly renegotiate the contract and how far are the unions willing to go to save their jobs? The unions should make it a stipulation that if the unions were to amend the union contract, that there should be a clause in the contract that the City Hall move will be suspended for the duration of the three year contract.


No one knows what the outcome of the budget will end up looking like but some things need to be changed in the way the city operates. The continuation of robbing Peter to pay Paul should no longer be practiced and certification of funds will have to be adhered to more often so the city doesn’t come up short of funds.


Section 22 of the City Charter states: No contract, agreement or other obligation involving the expenditure of money shall be entered into, nor shall any ordinance, resolution, or order for the expenditure of money be passed by the City Commission, or be authorized by any officer of the City, unless the City Treasurer shall FIRST certify to the City Commission or to the proper officer, that the money required for such contract, agreement, obligation, or expenditure, is in the Treasury, to the credit of the fund from which it is to be drawn, and not appropriated for any other purpose, which certificate shall be filed and immediately recorded. The sum so certified shall not thereafter be considered unappropriated until the City is discharged from the contract, agreement, or obligation.

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