Only one of the five who voted for this bad budget deal are to blame. The four: Cole, Qualls, Quinlivan, and Thomas had no choice. Charlie Winburn pulled a Joe Liberman on them and was 'for' furloughs and then flipped in such a manner that The Flying Wallendas would be proud.
The FOP Election was going on yesterday and it appeared to me that Winburn and his staff may have been doing a little acting in the effort to make Kathy Harrell look like she won a victory. How real were those shouts in the hallway that Jane Prendergast reported? Kathy Ended up winning easily, 555-90, but just below half (49.4%) of the rank and file voted for her. What does it say that voter turnout for the FOP election was only 57%? Does the rest of the membership feel like their vote doesn't count? Or that there was no real choice?
The rest of the blame goes to those who put forth no ideas and no plan of their own, namely Berding, Bortz, Ghiz, and Monzel. Leslie Ghiz can call this plan 'garbage, but what did she offer up in its place? Bortz attacked it and I think he is most concerned about raiding the City's Working Capital Reserve Fund for 8.2 Million. He is right to call that irresponsible from a development and infrastructure perspective, but unless you get furloughs or layoff cops and fire fighters, there is no other way, or at least no other way on the table. If the silent four are going to govern, they have to play the game with Winburn too. No, you can't trust Charlie Winburn. He will double deal everyone, unless you pay him off. He agreed to the rules and he got himself a new committee to play with. Yesterday, he got to dance with the FOP and help Harrell raid the city's reserve to keep the seasoned cops sitting on their butts getting pay raises, while still having the younger pups out doing the work. The FOP now owes him, and he will collect.
If you are going to sit on your hands and not put forth ideas, you really have nothing to complain about. Hell, no one of the Gang of Five put any pressure on the unions to provide concessions. The only thing close in the budget is a cut of Overtime, which reportedly will come mostly from the CPD, and none of the silent four voted for that!
We have a crappy budget. We have to live with it, for now. It is time that every member of council starts participating in the process. The first step would be to stand up to the Police Unions. Next, some reform of the police and fire departments might be in order. If you are not willing to do that, then no one is really serious about fiscal responsibility.