I was really disappointed in the way the city is conducting the cuts to the budget. The cuts seem to be temporary cuts that don’t address long term cuts in order to prevent another budget crisis in 2015. The city is still making it a practice of raiding other accounts to balance the budget.
The possibility of offering incentive packages to employees can be a slippery slope while using tax dollars. The possible incentives seem to defeat the purpose of trying to find ways to cut when the city has to give back something in return.
The union contract is always worded for the benefit of the union and hardly allows any flexibility for the city. Waiting until the last minute to negotiate a new union contract always gives the union the upper hand because of the budget deadline. A professional contract negotiator is needed to give some flexibility to the city when looking at a tight budget.
When private sector companies decide to cut, a plan for cuts is implemented. The companies do not allow the employees to barter for their jobs, nor, do private companies think about the impact the job loss will have on the employee. All the company cares about is operating within its budget so it can pay the bills. Having the employees, other than supervisors, dictate what is going to be cut and who is going to be laid off, gives the impression that lower level employees are in charge instead of the city manager.
Taking the remaining $307,000 of deficit out of the general fund is not a way to declare a balanced budget. It doesn’t allow for extra general fund money to be used in case of emergencies throughout the year.
A third executive session is scheduled to take place. Will citizens be advised as to the necessity of such lengthy executive sessions? When executive sessions last longer than the regular meeting without any vote being made, the situation becomes a transparency problem.