Council Member Greg Harris has done something no other candidate has done: provide a 2010 budget plan that includes adjustments that make up the 51.5 million dollar projected deficit. He does it without layoffs. He does list a Trash collection fee which would fill a gap. That will surely get screams from the right wing, but once the election passes, I think their scream will subside on fee increases.
I am most pleased with Greg for being complete. He had the courage to do this now, before the election and he actually provided numbers that will add up to the deficit. Other candidates have presented cuts they would make, but they cite cutting some minor program or perk that adds up to a few hundred thousand dollars, nothing close to the full budget deficit.
Many of the cuts Greg proposes are going to face huge challenges, but I think Greg is willing to work with everyone. What we don't need is more Grandstanding from Ghis, Monzel, Berding, and the FOP Officers playing the role of chicken little. Since we are so close to the election, I don't predict big political pushes to attack Greg, since those council members are not safe enough to focus on getting out their base.
Greg's action to publicize his realistic plan is what we want from our council. Greg is governing. He is being upfront, but will be smart and will not negotiate with the Unions in the media. We need to keep Greg on council.