Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thank God We Saved The Gardens....

The final budget passed by Cincinnati City Council makes me wonder why I'm a registered Democrat. John Cranley played backroom games with the budget and ultimately proved he's neither a trustworthy leader nor a good steward of the public fisc.

You can read the Enquirer's report on the budget passed here. I've had a fairly well-lathered froth worked up since I heard about today's shenanigans. The budget--which is balanced through a combination of raising parking ticket fines (which will likely generate far less revenue than Council thinks) and raiding the City's version of its "rainy day" fund--includes:
  • almost a half million dollars in non-negotiated cost-of-living increases;
  • an additional $5,300 for each Council office;
  • over $150,000 that permits the City to claim that it's "green"; and
  • $40,000 for neighborhood gardens.
Ten or fifteen years ago, this would have been a legitimate budget. But not today. Governments at all levels are getting leaner. And City Council decided on a last-minute spending spree. And they did in such a way as to completely eliminate transparency in the budget process. But that's the Cranley Method of Government.

Supporting the budget were Cranley, Crowley, Cole, Thomas, and Qualls. I won't vote for any of them (yes, I realize some are term-limited anyhow) in 2009. And as far as I'm concerned, Qualls's mayoral aspirations just jumped the shark.

A prediction: Council's short-sightedness today will place the City in a budget nightmare next year, with the newly-elected Council forced to make significant revisions to the second year of this two-year budget.

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