The news that Bellevue is eliminating seven jobs, including three permanent cuts, is a sign of the times. With city budgets being squeezed throughout the state, tough decisions need to be made to keep municipalities out of the red while maintainingservices.
Bellevue is cutting a firefighter, a clerk in the auditor's office and a street maintenance worker from its payroll while the other four job cuts will be accomplished through attrition. These are good-paying jobs that are being lost and the employees and families directly affected by the cuts willcertainly feel the pain.
With the city facing a $500,000 budget shortfall, however, the cuts arenecessary.
Like families struggling to make ends meet in thischallenging economy by cutting back on luxuries just to afford skyrocketing food and gasoline prices, cities must also find ways to do more with less.
There are only a fewsolutions to this problem, one is to raise taxes and the other is to attract new business/residents, or tax revenue, to the city. However, raising taxes certainly is a deterrent to the latter.
Bellevue is not alone. Perkins Township isconsidering cutting back to two patrol officers on some shifts to meet its police budget, a move we think puts the public, as well as the officers, at risk.
Another option that we've endorsed on these pages before, is for cities, townships and counties to take a good look at regionalization wheneverpossible. Combining dispatch services, whichSandusky is considering, would save taxpayers thousands of dollars and improve services as well. Then again, the politics behind such a move forward have proven it's much easier said than done.
When it comes to the bottom line, however, regionalization of some services just makes too much sense to not consider.