Now that we've established Sandusky's budget can't be finessed as City Manager Matt Kline and ex officio Mayor Craig Stahl assured us it could, layoffs are a fact of life.
It's a painful, gut feeling: Someone's paycheck and livelihood are on the line. And we all no doubt sympathize with someone whose job goes away, even when our taxes pay that person's wage.
So it's finally decision time at City Hall.
Let us help.
Leave alone, where humanly possible, the people whose jobs are to do the work that keeps the city running and in shape: the pothole patchers, the leaf picker-uppers, the law enforcers, the firefighters -- the people who, by doing their jobs, keep the city from falling completely apart.
There is union protection for those jobs, true, but that means little when someone finally starts paying attention to the bottom line. More importantly, we're talking about the people whose jobs produce results of immediate benefit to the quality of life in this city.
So shift the ax away from them. Concentrate instead on the chair pilots, the assistants to assistants, the people whose sole function is to keep desks from blowing away while reassuring everyone else things are fine, just fine.
Anyone who works in an office can testify to the difficulty of distinguishing those who perform an unsung, but important function from those who make sure the boss knows everything they do is important and -- hey, is it 5 o'clock already?
Make the effort. Make the cuts. And, for the sake of everyone who wonders where that one percent of their paycheck went, make sure those left behind are the ones the city needs to carry out the functions we taxpayers want carried out.