The Solution To The City Budget Problem

Bryan Dubois
Mar 23, 2010


No really officer...I always go for strolls at rest stops after dark...

And you thought the comedy of getting caught in the woods adjacent to a rest stop with another guy after dark only happened in "There's Something About Mary."

There's Something About Mary - Rest Stop Bust

Allright.  Enough of the comedy.

Onto more important issues.  Urgently urgent issues.

The city budget is like a puzzle:

Each piece represents an individual department.  Each piece believes that it's own size is most important to the puzzle as a whole.  Each piece claims that cutting it's size will somehow destroy the entire puzzle.  That if you tinker with any puzzle piece's budget the community will suffer.  Of course, none of that's true. 

Just because you eliminate a supervisor's position in the police department doesn't mean you will not get a police response in the event of an emergency.  It just means that there's one less supervisor taking long breaks and shuffling paper around on a desk.  It means that every professional law enforcement officer in the city of Sandusky will need to step up their game. It's time for the city to step up it's game.  It's go time.  D-Day. 

The city must send in an efficiency expert into the two departments that account for the largest part of the city's budget:

Police and fire.

Analyze, assess, restructure, reassign.  Do it now or crash the city.   Adapt or die.  Eliminate some supervisory positions.  Pick apart every part of the SPD and SFD's training budget.  Take your own honest assessment of what's necessary and what is not - do not ask rank and file because that's a complete waste of time.  Rank and file know the system better than anyone and they'll never "cut their own throats" or give you a lick of information that will enable you to take away their bread and butter.  Force unions to take concessions or start eliminating positions...

The sad part is that these assessments should've already been done - and the cuts should've already been implemented long ago. 

The purpose of city government is to provide basic city services.  Get back to the basics and the budget will fix itself.

One of the toughest parts of leadership is the willingness to be hated for decisions that must be made for the betterment of the organization you run.  In the short term you may get cursed, but in the long term you'll end up with respect.  Once again - it's all about leadership:  The ability to make a tough decision and have the PR skillz to explain the decision in such a way that draws acceptance from all and even coaxes support from adversaries...

Any leaders around here? 

Please put your name on the ballot.



The city has to get down to business and start cutting employees now.  We don't have time to talk about it anymore.  We have talked about the subject long enough and waited too long to do anything about it.  The sewer and water fund is being abused.  If it looks like sewer and water, it gets taken out the of sewer and water fund which is telling me that the city is charging us too much for water and sewer.  There is still room in administration to cut.  Gone is the day when one person did one thing and now people are starting to multi task.       


Most city budgets are 80 to 90 percent personnel.  To make real cost cutting, requires the elimination of workers.  Government workers are the most aggressive special interest group in local politics.  Huron's discussion of restructuring safety forces has gone behind closed doors into executive sessions.  City residents are last in line when it comes to getting their needs met. 

The only way to fix it is to elect real leaders who have the publics best interest at the top of their agenda.  It looks like Sandusky will have a good selection of candidates, I hope Huron has the same,  choose wisely!